Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Velmanette Montgomery urges Civil Right hearing

NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, the representative of Duffield Street in Albany, has written a letter urging the NYC City Council to hold a Civil Rights hearing. In a letter to Council Member Larry Seabrook, Montgomery writes to support of a hearing originally proposed by the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance:
In an effort to develop the area, the City had selected AKRF Consultants to conduct a study of the importance of these buildings to determine if they merited preservation. AKRF concluded that it could not verify that the buildings were part of the "Underground Railroad" and therefore did not merit preservation. The buildings are now slated for demolition.

Many questions surrounding the role of the Duffield Houses in the "Underground Railroad" remain unanswered, however. There are experts in American history who are convinced of the inadequacy of the AKRF consultants and have called for further research in their historical significance, especially since that area of Brooklyn has a documented history of strong support for the abolition of slavery as well as participation in sheltering slaves while helping them escape to safe havens.
Here is the full letter: page 1 and page 2 (JPGs)