Knoxville’s African American Equity Restoration Task Force: $100 Million to Solve Racial Inequity


This year, Knoxville will deploy an African American Equity Restoration Task Force to solve “disparity and disenfranchisement in Black communities.” The city created the task force in mid-December at the request of Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie, as part of a larger resolution issuing an apology for the city’s past impacts on Black people.

According to the City Council website, the task force will include business, community, financial, education, faith, healthcare, youth, and city leaders capable of creating policy and programs for the city. The Community Empowerment Department will assist the task force in their assigned task. Additionally, the city stated that the task force’s recommendations may be afforded up to $100 million in government grants over the next seven years.

December’s resolution explained, at length, the impact of the city’s 1959 – 1974 Urban Renewal projects (granted the monikers: Urban Removal or Negro Removal). Government leaders capitalized on eminent domain to acquire homes, churches, and businesses to construct public buildings and roadways. Researchers and council members assessed that the project disproportionately affected Black individuals, families, and even communities. They stated that this was due largely in part to segregation at the time.

Historians estimated that the projects displaced several thousand families, and destroyed over 100 businesses and over a dozen Black churches.

The resolution also noted that the communities impacted by the Urban Renewal projects were still recovering from the Race Riots of 1919. It claimed that these events caused generational poverty in Black families.

“Black citizens who lived through both historic events bore witness to the racism, oppression and trauma that plagued many Black communities,” stated the resolution.

Monday marked the deadline for applications to serve on the task force. It is unclear how many members will serve on the unit.

When asked by The Tennessee Star, the city council’s office couldn’t offer an estimated date for announcing the task force members. Spokespersons in charge of assembling the task force didn’t respond with further information regarding the existence of any compensation or framework for initiatives by press time.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Black Owned Business” by Paul Sableman. CC BY 2.0.






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9 Thoughts to “Knoxville’s African American Equity Restoration Task Force: $100 Million to Solve Racial Inequity”

  1. Theresa Powers


  2. Thomas Barry

    Throw money and woke people at it, yeah that’ll work

  3. Dean

    I have lived in Knoxville for my entire 60 years of life; I no longer even recognize this leftist city any longer; it used to be only the the west Knoxville liberals and the east Knoxville black community voted for the democrats; now south Knoxville (where I grew up) is also lost. For crying out loud; Knoxville use to be the buckle of the Bible Belt. Gay parades in downtown and open socialist on the city counsel, I feel like I’ve lived too long.

  4. Nashvillian

    Will they address black on black homicide?

  5. 83ragtop50

    We have seen this movie before and it never ends well.

  6. Roger

    Have you ever figured where the trillions spent over the years to bring equality have gone, if so, let the rest of us know.

  7. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    Maybe they should spend more time in the library with the Asian kids?

  8. Randy

    Grant funding from the Federal Government is largely borrowed money. A promise to reimburse if you jump through all the right hoops and agree to pay and establish more government obligation going forward. A popular refrain is “If we don’t go after the grant money someone else will get it”. That is not only childish, but dangerous. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) doles out grant funding like water. What most people do not realize is that the amount of actual dollars that end up being spent on the end use is a fraction of the amount granted. Administration accounts for half and the other half is a reimbursement, if and when the project gets done correctly. Paying for materials and labor that often are twice the actual fair market rate. The City of Knoxville’s financial mess is already well known. This is like giving an addict a crack pipe and a piece of crack to help with addiction.

  9. Randy

    Demonic or Democrat Socialists have infiltrated the City of Knoxville. Their goal is not to help people of color but to simply use them to achieve their goal of Marxism. They have been been schooled by foreign communist governments and know that their promise of “free money” entices the poor and poorly educated. These are the same people responsible for educating, go figure. When they say diversity they really mean only people that think like they do. Every freedom loving citizen in the city of Knoxville needs to stand up and be counted in the 2021 Election of City Council members. Flipping the city council from socialist to a representative form of government can happen, it begins with “We the people”.