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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/18/23
Huntsville, AL: On October 14th, 2023, Where Is My Land and the Jones family are joining forces on the ground in Alabama to “Activate Huntsville” in an attempt to acquire reparative justice for the land that was stolen from their ancestor, Willie Jones. The reckoning due for the city of Huntsville, Alabama, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville is a long time coming.
“Black land theft is pervasive across the United States from California to Cleveland, Ohio, to Connecticut, we need justice for these harms to be just as widespread,” said Kavon Ward, CEO of Where Is My Land.
Willie Jones’s land contained a well, and that well was a source of natural abundance for not only his kin but for the community around him. After he refused an insultingly low ofer for his land, government ofcials conveniently determined that the water was not potable and condemned his land- poaching it for housing and now, a parking lot and the business administration building at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“Being made to leave my father’s land really afected me in so many ways that by the grace of God, we survived,” said Billy Jones, the son of Willie Jones.
“Activate Huntsville” is direct action to commemorate the Jones’s survival and condemn the city of Huntsville for creating the conditions that placed a thriving Black family in the throes of displacement. The activation takes place on Willie Jones’s birthday and is grounded in ancestral veneration, faith, and urgency. Ten acres of the land that the University of Alabama sits upon is the Jones family’s and compensation for their unjust losses is due.