Statement of protest against taking our homes for the West Alabama Highway Project.
We, the Moore family, have grave concerns about the proposed West Alabama Highway Project and the plan to expand US Highway 43 to a 4-lane interstate through our community.
The State of Alabama doesn’t need our homes for this project, but plans to take them anyway. The current plan will displace our homes, our heritage, and our way of life.
This is the land seven generations of our family members call home. We are the descendants of Will Grayson and Kate Mosley Grayson, who were Native American, and Galloway Moore and Sara Williams Moore, who were African American and of Irish descent. Our ancestors worked hard as sharecroppers and acquired this land for us and future generations to live on. This is our land. Our land is a valuable resource for our family, the base for our freedom, our safe haven, our comforting place, and our survival place.
But as currently configured, the West Alabama Highway Project will require seizing four of our homes, displacing 11 of our family members, and destroy our community built over a hundred years.
We are not opposed to the highway project. We are opposed to it routing through our community when there are other options; but if it must be built here, we are opposed to the excess and unnecessary amount of land the state is proposing to take. The road can be widened without dismantling our homes. We are willing to sacrifice the use of our land for construction easements to save our homes.
Our family already paid a high price in 1923 when the first US Highway 43 was constructed. The mills at the town center of Dixons Mills were a form of support for Black families. These mills were demolished during the construction of 43 in the early 20th century. The State of Alabama took land from our ancestors to build 43 and they were not paid a penny for it.
The proposed project will destroy our way of life. The sugar cane patch that our grandpa and grandma planted still grows on our land today. The well that was dug by our grandfather for our family to have fresh water to drink still exists on our land. The pecans trees, fig trees, wild plum trees, apple trees, and peach trees on our land still bear fruits. This proposed project will dismantle our private owned businesses. Our community will be without an auto mechanic shop, loggers, caterers, carpenters, fresh food vendors, farmers, and livestock would be affected.
This community will never recover from this devastation. If an alternate route cannot be mapped out and the State of Alabama feels that it is necessary for this project to come through our community, at least give us the dignity as taxpayers, homeowners, and landowners to only take the minimally necessary amount of land. Our mission is to work with the State to preserve our homes.
On February 16, 2022, our family had a meeting with State Design Engineer, Mr. Stan Biddick, to express our concerns and disapproval of the proposed project. We learned that the West Alabama Highway Project is being funded 100 percent by the state taxpayers. Governor Kay Ivey signed off on it as well as our state representatives Bobby Singelton, Terri Sewell, Calvin Martin, and Freddie Armstead, and several others unknown to us.
It saddens our hearts to know that we were not notified of a meeting before the final decisions were made by our elected officials and the Governor of Alabama. They will not be affected by their decisions. We will be directly affected by the project because if it moves forward, it will obliterate our way of life.
Our brother asked, “Mr. Biddick, how would you feel if you came home, and someone told [you] to move?” Mr. Biddick hung his head and said, “I would feel the same way you all are feeling.”
We are fighting for our land and our homes. Please join us.
The Descendants of Will Grayson, Kate Mosley Grayson, Galloway Moore, and Sara Williams Moore
Marolyn Moore Grant
Carolyn Moore Fuqua
Sara Moore Hinton
Robert Moore Jr.
Tommie Edward Moore