MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - A member of the Marshall City Council is proposing a resolution which would not only have the city formally apologize for the institution of slavery, but also instate other provisions such as heightened education about the history of slavery in Marshall and authorize the removal of Confederate statues in town.
Councilmember Marvin Bonner will present the resolution at Thursday night’s meeting. Citing a long history of slavery in the region, specifically naming Marshall as “one of the largest slave-holding cities in the state of Texas,” and naming the various impacts and harms slavery brought to Africans and their descendants in America, the resolution seeks to put several proposals into motion. Section 1 moves that, in June of this year, the City of Marshall would officially declare the institution of slavery to be a crime against humanity while also “passing a reparations ordinance.”
Sections 2 and 3 involve providing access, both through local broadcasts and presentation in K-12 schools, screenings of the documentary film “Finding Miriam” to educate the public about Marshall’s history with slavery.
Section 4 calls for the preservation of slave records.
Section 5 call for the Marshall City Council to negotiate with Harrison County to remove the remaining Confederate statue in downtown Marshall at the Harrison County Court House, “which stands as a symbol of hate and the vestiges of slavery and the Civil War.”
In the language of the resolution, Bonner states “the extent and nature of the injuries and inequities resulting from slavery and segregation are so deeply rooted and wide-ranging that reparations ought to take many forms, including but not limited to efforts to insure African American access to jobs, health care, education and overall economic development.”