The Historically Black Neighborhood Act

Addison Sarter
8 min readApr 2, 2021

I. Summary Statement

· If this initiative is passed, it will help stop the gentrification of predominantly Black neighborhoods in D.C. by preserving them as historically Black neighborhoods.

· Currently, DC government officials and developers who are not from these proposed historically Black neighborhoods, control the real estate development within these neighborhoods. This initiative would allow the Black residents of these proposed historically Black neighborhoods to vote and decide on all matters regarding the real estate development within their neighborhoods, without the DC government overriding their decisions.

· The legislative text of this initiative will prove that historically Black neighborhoods are a basic human right.

II. Legislative Text

A. The Historically Black Neighborhood Act Is NOT Segregation

B. The Historically Black Neighborhood Act Is Life Or Death

C. The Historically Black Neighborhood Act Is A Basic Human Right

D. How Will These Historically Black Neighborhoods Operate?

The Historically Black Neighborhood Act Is NOT Segregation

Unlike segregation, non-African Americans living in one of these historically Black neighborhoods would not be forced to ride the back of the bus. They would not be denied the right to eat at a restaurant in our neighborhoods. They would not have to drink out of a separate water fountain. If they got into a car crash in one of our historically Black neighborhoods and needed to go to a hospital, they would not be denied medical treatment due to their race. They would not have their homes bombed for living in our neighborhoods.

All of those atrocities happened to us during Jim Crow so we would not inflict that on others. If a white person or non-Black person is comfortable living in a predominantly Black area, governed by Black people, then they are more than welcome to stay and live there.

This initiative is NOT advocating for non-Black people to be cleared out of DC to make room for historically Black neighborhoods. These proposed historically Black neighborhoods are simply the same neighborhoods that Black people have been segregated to and have been living on for decades. Due to segregation, in nearly every city in America, a segment of the Black community has been isolated from White…