The history of the African American community and culture, like many other communities and cultures, is filled with pride, determination, challenges and change. The controversy surrounding the inclusion of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in the Manhattan Avenue Mural Project has ignited a difficult and yet necessary conversation.
The conversation requires the African American community to consider whether the Minister is an appropriate, historical contribution to the story of our history. The conversation also requires the African American community to determine whether the Minister and his previous comments about the Jewish community is enough to exclude him from the mural.
The conversation further requires the African American community to decide whether the discomfort of the white, Jewish community is sufficient to yield to their threats of destruction of an entire body of work. The conversation absolutely requires the African American community to consider the loss of their autonomy and ability to decide for themselves the cultural iconic figures who have positively impacted our past, present and future.
The challenge is that no one wants to hurt, insult or harm the Jewish community and at the same time, the African American community cannot and will not allow a white community to dictate when, how and in whom our children, adults and seniors alike should have pride and admiration.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is more than capable of defending himself and his comments regarding the Jewish community. We do not seek to speak for him or on his behalf.
Our purpose, as the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, is to support the artistic, cultural and freedom of expression which is displayed on behalf of and for the African American community that every other community is entitled to display.
Removing the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan from the mural would be a detrimental mistake on behalf of the Town of Greenburgh and we respectfully request that the Town of Greenburgh, at the direction of Supervisor Paul Feiner, not destroy hours of work by African American artists.
Now is the time for the African American community and each and every one of our organizations to raise the $100,000.00 to give the Town of Greenburgh their money back so that we can decide once and for all that self determination belongs to us, just like every other community.
WBWPC Countywide President