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April 13, 2023
A former DC city council candidate is introducing a ballot initiative to create ‘African American autonomous zones.’
Addison Sarter, an Independent, explained his proposal on Medium, writing, “These African American autonomous regions, would be turned into their own cities, with their own mayor and own city Councilmembers, operating separately and free from control by the present DC government.” The historically black neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River, Langdon Park/Brentwood, Colonial Village, and Shepherd Park, would be part of the DC zones.
According to Sarter, autonomous zones based on race are not equivalent to segregation. “Black Autonomy is not segregation. Black autonomy is simply the act of African Americans controlling the institutions in our communities,” writes Sarter. Furthermore, African Americans are considered indigenous people according to the United Nations, allowing them to organize autonomous areas.
His policy continues to state that individuals living in the autonomous zones are still American citizens and can engage in outside society. In 2020, Sarter asked the DC council for reparations, posting on Instagram, “I testified in front of DC Council about the need for reparations to the Black community in DC..specifically towards housing. It is time we stop settling for crumbs. Let’s make it happen. #Reparations2020.”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC7 NY