1. The "free exercise of religion"

In general, the removal and/or relocation of human remains found in burial shafts on the Allen Parkway Village site violates the religious freedom of the Allen Parkway and Fourth Ward residents, community, members, and supporters who believe this site and the human remains to be a sacred part of the local history, and removal to be desecration.

2. The "freedom of speech, or of the press"

The following constitute censorship of plans for historical preservation and community campus development in violation of the freedom of speech and of the press:

A. Removal or destruction of architecture and artifacts at the Allen Parkway Village site, including human remains, which the residents and their supporters, including scholars in architecture, African-American history, and related disciplines, wish to preserve and to study as part of the history of the area, the city, and the nation;

B. The denial of free and equal access to the APV site in order to conduct and document feasibility studies as required for campus planning, including funding and program development;

C. The removal or destruction of historical landmarks (such as the tarring over of a hand-laid brick road) and irreplaceable antique features of historical houses, including the complete demolition of viable houses, that can no longer be documented as required for historical designation or preserved as desired by Fourth Ward community residents, youth, leaders, and supporters;

D. The lack of elected leadership in the Houston Housing Authority and the Houston Renaissance to ensure the residents, indluding youth, an equal voice in decisions affecting their community. (NOTE: Mediation and consensus-based decision-making through a local steering committee has been recommended as this would solved the problem with underrepresentation or misrepresentation.

4. The right of the people in the Fourth Ward community "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

The eviction of residents, first from the Allen Parkway Village and then from the larger Fourth Ward community, abridges their right peaceably to assemble as a whole in order to effectively make, communicate, and carry out group decisions. Thus, they have been unable to pursue proper legal assistance to answer to, appeal, or to prevent the ongoing decisions made and actions taken to destroy their community and to censor their plans, or to develop these plans and funds for preservation and restoration of the entire Freedmen's Town community. Without the ability to fully defend or represent themselves legally, every single one of the residents' rights and freedoms proclaimed in Amendment I to the U.S. Constitution has been systematically abridged, denied, or subverted in one form or another.


Please help us to secure and restore the Freedmen's Town community under the Youth Master Plan for Fourth Ward. This plan, put together by neighborhood youth, calls for development without displacing residents, demolishing homes, or destroying the community in this national historic district.

Your tax-deductible donation may be made to:

The Fourth Ward Health and Educational Center for Youth, Inc.*
1415 Taft St., Houston, TX 77019

*A Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization

For more information, contact Darrell J. Patterson

Home: 713-524-2857
Tel/Fax: 713-521-1315

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