U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush And Law Students Reveal Plans To Help Chicagoans Reclaim Stolen Property In The South Initial Findings Validate Families' Claims Of Land Stolen From Ancestors During Jim Crow Era Of The South

Jul 27, 2005
Press Release

CHICAGO (July 27, 2005) Congressman Bobby L. Rush along with DePaul University College of Law Professor Ray Waters and his team of law students from several universities, will let Chicago families know the status of their claims of stolen land during the Jim Crow Era of the South as part of their Reclamation of Southern Assets (ROSA) project on Thursday, July 28, 2005 at Rep. Rushs Chicago District Office, located at 700 E. 79th Street, Chicago, at 1:30 pm.

 Nearly a year ago, Rush spearheaded the ROSA project with Professor Waters by hosting a conference attended by African-American Chicago relatives of former land and business owners in mid-southern states.  Subsequent conferences have helped to identify families whose claims of lost property due to widespread injustice and intimidation practiced during the Jim Crow era of the South had fallen flat. 

 Rep. Rush seeks to redistribute and reconcile these disputed land rights to ancestors and descendants of landowners who unlawfully lost their property.

 The African American community has been plagued by the lack of a land-based economy throughout history, said Rush.  This stems from not only the failure of the government to keep its promise of 40 acres and a mule, but also the treacherous theft of African-American-owned land during the Jim Crow era of Southern segregation and aristocracy. The ROSA project will begin to rectify these crimes of the past and continue our pursuit to increase ownership and economic stability within the African-American community.

 Congressman Rush hopes the ROSA project finding will draw exposure as well as garner legislative proposals and support from state and federal policymakers.  

 For more information, please visit www.house.gov/rush or call (773) 224-6500.