Advocating city reparations for the destruction of black urban culture
This passage highlights Fonvielle's last reflections over Savannah's revitalization process. He maintains redevelopment projects have erased blacks from formerly all-black communities. Fonvielle argues that, accordingly, the city should provide assist to remaining black business.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with William Fonvielle, August 2, 2002. Interview R-0174. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- WILLIAM FONVIELLE:
I would just, final words would be the city of Savannah needs to take a
good look at what they have done to the black business community and
think about putting some money down here. You can't
revitalize because revitalization to me means that you're
going to have a reasonable facsimile of what was. You can't
do that. But why not get some new blood down here. You've got
all these decaying buildings. You've got the expertise.
You've got the people with the trades that know how to do
things. Why not take a chance on them? You can only lose. Hell, we lost,
we lost this whole street. So it's not like any big deal. So
those would be my parting words that the city of Savannah needs to take
a look at what they did in the '60s to the black business
community and try to make some of this thing come. I'm not
going to say like reparations or anything like that because
I'm not looking for that, but if you want it revitalized and
we're part of the revitalization, then give us something to
work with down here. Don't keep saying there's
money. There's money. Yeah, there's money, and I
can't borrow it. That doesn't mean
there's money. So I don't need these loans, ML
King loans and all this stuff if I've got good credit because
that means I can go to the bank. So most black
business people don't have good credit. They need help, and
it's up to the city of Savannah to help them because they owe
us. They owe us, and when I say they owe us, I mean the south end of
Martin Luther King, which they destroyed which will never come back. You
will only be able to see it in pictures. Okay.