Due to the efforts of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and oth­ers, the civ­il rights move­ment result­ed in fed­er­al and state leg­is­la­tion that led to a steady and sys­tem­at­ic decrease in dis­crim­i­na­tion against Blacks in the U.S. With the elec­tion of an African American pres­i­dent in 2008, it seemed that the coun­try had put behind many of the prob­lems of racism.

That gid­di­ness has now worn off as white suprema­cist and oth­er hate groups pro­lif­er­at­ed, police bru­tal­i­ty became major news, vot­ing rights were chal­lenged, and the list goes on. While options for local gov­ern­ment to address these prob­lems are lim­it­ed, one impor­tant first step com­mu­ni­ties can take is to adopt a firm stand oppos­ing all forms of racism and discrimination.

A group of local cit­i­zens met to dis­cuss race-relat­ed issues and decid­ed to draft a res­o­lu­tion sim­i­lar to ones adopt­ed by many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing cities, states, and the U.S. Congress. This pro­posed Resolution on Racial Harmony (see below) will be pre­sent­ed to the city and coun­ty for adop­tion. The res­o­lu­tion will be intro­duced at the Winchester City Commission meet­ing on Tuesday, June 21, at 4:30 p.m. and to the Clark County Fiscal Court at a lat­er date. I hope WinCity read­ers will attend in sup­port of these efforts.

Resolution on Racial Harmony

WHEREAS, thou­sands of Africans and their descen­dants were enslaved in Winchester
and Clark County from 1775 through 1865;
WHEREAS, in 1860 just pri­or to the Civil War, forty-two (42) per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion
in Clark County was enslaved, and black peo­ple were bought and sold at the
Clark County Courthouse;
WHEREAS, fol­low­ing Emancipation, injus­tices against African Americans con­tin­ued
with out­breaks of vio­lence, lynch­ings, racial seg­re­ga­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Winchester City Commission that
(1) We are com­mit­ted to the prin­ci­ple that all peo­ple are cre­at­ed equal;
(2) We acknowl­edge the fun­da­men­tal inhu­man­i­ty and injus­tice of slav­ery and
(3) We regret the wrongs that were com­mit­ted against African Americans in our
com­mu­ni­ty in the past;
(4) We rec­og­nize that much progress toward racial equal­i­ty has been made in our
com­mu­ni­ty; and
(5) We express our con­tin­u­ing oppo­si­tion to all forms of racial discrimination.

  • Harry is a Mt. Sterling native who has lived in Clark County since1999. He has a pas­sion for the past and has researched and writ­ten exten­sive­ly about the his­to­ry of this area.