Restoring Douglass Mansion: A Cultural Priority for this Community
In response to Mr. Al Tillman; whether the P&Z Review Board is predictable or superfluous; they made the right recommendation to prohibit demolition of the Douglass Mansion. Someone needs to respect the rules, and the value of heritage.
In a city-county like Macon-Bibb County, over 60% black; African American heritage preservation and opportunity has a critical need. The education, values, and self-respect of such a substantial segment of the population has a huge impact on the success or failure of the entire community.
Macon-Bibb County is at a crossroads and we need to do some things differently. The traditional neglect of African American heritage preservation and education by most local leaders is undermining the future, the hope of our community.
The valuable, successful achievements of black luminaries throughout Macon’s history need to be taught and exemplified to the generations of today and tomorrow. The youth of all races and cultures need to be nurtured on the great heritage and knowledge of all the ancestors on whose shoulders they stand.
This is why it was a crime to allow Tremont Temple Church to be demolished; regardless of the current congregation’s limitations and values. It would be a greater crime for local leaders of all stripes to allow the Douglass Mansion too to be demolished now for a donut shop to profit. It would be a curse for this community to be recorded having such a poverty of the soul in 2014.
Many buildings have even been condemned, yet beautifully renovated. We are talking about a resurrection of purpose and service in this house with a commitment from Mercer University, Macon’s top educational institution, to play the leading role of partnership. We need to rally the community and the nation to help achieve it.
There is no excuse for allowing this developer to harm this historic house in any way. It should be saved to anchor a higher purpose of unity and inspiration for Macon-Bibb County. Local leaders must deliver on being better custodians of the heritage of the people. Some are still blind and bound with diseases of the spirit. But for those who can see the imminent need for change, hope, honor, and gratitude for what we have been given; it is time to act, to save, to produce, and to renew life in a suffering city.
-George Fadil Muhammad
Come to a press conference on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 11a.m. to show your support of saving the Douglass House from demolition. The press conference will be held in front of the Douglass House, located at 873 Pine Street.