Attorney911 In The News: City Illegally Tears Down Precious Piece of Black History

On this last day of Black History Month, the descendants of Texas City slaves turned  landowners, are blasting the city and its first black mayor for illegally demolishing an  irreplaceable piece of Black heritage. “I was starting to cry. I was choking back tears,” says  Charlesa Gary, president of the African American Historical Preservation Committee in Texas  City. She was watching their historical school auditorium of the first black school being torn  down, days before the scheduled court hearing to protect it.  

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Vera Bell Gary is the proud 97-year-old granddaughter of Texas City slaves from the mid  1800’s. She’s furious with Mayor Dedrick Johnson. I felt like crying I almost cursed that man  out.”  

Vera says Mayor Johnson, straight up, asked her to give away her grandfather’s land. How could  he dare to take away her family’s heritage? “Four men were brave enough to save their money.  They were getting paid then after they were free. They saved their money to invest in this 230  acres.”  

The Bell family wouldn’t give up the property. They planned to renovate the auditorium into a  community center and the city knew that. But the city demolished their building right out from  under them. “So much history was lost that day,” says Charlesa Gary. Precious history. Gone  forever.  

Attorney Ralph Manginello represents the preservation committee in a lawsuit against the city. “The city of Texas city and the mayor decided to just violate their rights and take their property  without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves,” says Manginello. 

Dolcefino Consulting has been investigating Texas City’s frenzied building demolitions for  years. The city faces other lawsuits for violating property owners’ rights to due process and  bullying them to scoop up their land for pennies on the dollar. More than 100 properties have  already been demolished. 

In November 2020, Dedrick Johnson himself made history, becoming the city’s first black  mayor. Now Johnson is accused abusing his power to trample the rights of Texas City’s first  black families. 

The news conference will be held at the office of attorney Ralph Manginello, 1177 W. Loop  South, Ste 1600, Houston, TX 77027 

Copies of the lawsuit will be available to the media. Key members of the lawsuit will be in  attendance. For questions, please email us at or call our office at 713- 360-6911.

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