Restore Brooks name | Letters to the Editor
On February 7, the City Council approved “A Resolution for the One High Point Commission to Explore Community Reparations for African American Citizens of High Point, North Carolina.” One of the elements the commission will explore is “an immoral and inhumane deprivation of…cultural heritage”. The renaming of Daniel Brooks Homes is an example of the erasure of black cultural heritage in the 21st century in the city of High Point. Is this also an example of gentrification and urban cleansing?
The Daniel Brooks houses were built in the days of Jim and Jane Crow. During the segregation period, five white men served on the High Point Housing Board. Eight years after the death of Reverend Brooks, the deeds of his life remain etched in the conscience of the men who served on the council. On February 12, 1941, the name Daniel Brooks was chosen. On February 12, 2022, the High Point Housing Authority announced that his name had been removed from the redevelopment. Exactly 81 years after Capus Waynick, James Edward Millis, David Astor Dowdy, the Reverend OL Ruth and Dr Charles Grayson chose the name Daniel Brooks, the current housing council has announced its support for clearing Brooks’ name .
We do not hold Laurel Street (the promoter) responsible for not knowing the cultural, religious, medical and philanthropic heritage of the Brooks/Davis families. We hold HPHA responsible for not sharing it with Laurel Street and for agreeing to remove Brooks’ name. Laurel Street is the developer and HPHA remains involved in the redevelopment. The city council asked voters to approve a $6.5 million bond issue, and that money was approved for the HPHA; therefore, it is appropriate to ask the City Council to use its influence and power to recommend to HPHA and Laurel Street the name Brooks Legacy Ridge.
Dropping the Brooks name is an affront to our community. A highlight? Legacy Ridge – whose legacy? City Council, are you only interested in what benefits businesses? You can show your appreciation for the contributions and cultural heritage of the Black High Pointers by recommending HPHA and Laurel Street as Brooks Legacy Ridge.
Daniel Brooks Keepers of the Name