In recent years, racial issues have been at the forefront of High Point politics, and, this week, the High Point City Council found itself once again discussing the racial situation in that city.

On Monday, May 17, the High Point Branch of the NAACP announced in a press release its call for the City of High Point to establish a new “Commission on the Status of Black High Point.” 

The press release from the local NAACP branch, sent out just hours before the City Council meeting, stated that the establishment of the new commission is meant to “catalyze a discussion and research into the status of the Black community in High Point and to determine what measures will be taken to address the disparities once identified.”

At the meeting, the City Council voted unanimously, 9 to 0, to send the request to a city committee for further study.

In High Point – as in many cities across America – issues related to race have become a hot topic.  In early May, the High Point City Council named the city’s first black city manager.  That came after the dissatisfaction some in the city had toward the way a previous city manager addressed racial issues.

The city is also supporting a new business incubator largely meant to help minority-owned businesses.  In recent years, there here have also been lively City Council discussions – in public and in private – pertaining to minority participation in city contracts, as well as pertaining to the city’s response to gun violence that disproportionately affects black communities in High Point.

High Point NAACP President James Adams stated this week that the NAACP branch has been working on this new initiative for the last 18 months and also that the group felt that the time is right for moving forward with this request. 

Adams stated that, especially now, with all of the federal stimulus money that’s coming into the High Point community, there should “be attention paid to the needs of the Black community and plans made to address urban blight, revitalization of depressed communities, workforce initiatives, health and food disparities, as well as other inequities identified in the attached document, that we are dealing with in our community.”