Why Are These Americus City Councilwomen Not in Office?

December 2018

Shirley Green-Reese
Voted to stop citizens from
speaking at city council meetings.

Eloise R. Paschal
Voted to fly the Confederate Flag
permanently in Americus, GA.

Staff Reports

Our Sumter County NAACP and the Americus Sumter Observer newspaper spent years fighting and exposing Councilwomen Eloise Paschal and Shirley Green Reese. We protested by speaking to the city council meetings and blistering exposure of their votes with their White fellow councilpersons and against their Black counterparts.

We are bringing up these two alleged traitors to compare them to current Black majority on our city council. It is even worst to have four Blacks for the first time in the history the Americus City Council in the majority and they are just sitting there. Paschal and Reese betrayed the Black community by abandoning their Black city councilpersons but our four Blacks, Juanita Wilson, Kelvin Pless, Daryl Dowdell, and Nelson Brown have disappointed the Americus Black community.

Eloise Paschal voted for the flying of the Confederate flag to be flown permanently in a White cemetery. Historically, the city council only allowed the flag to be flown during the Confederate Celebration Day. Councilwoman Eddie Rhea Walker said, “I knew better than to vote for that flag.” Councilman Raymond Green, brother of Shirley Green Reese, said he definitely wasn’t going to agree to fly the Confederate flag permanently. Raymond Green was the only consistent Black vote and we were so very proud of him, says Dr. Marshall, the Observer’s publisher.

Shirley Green Reese was defeated by Kelvin Pless and a true Black majority existed for the first time. Reese voted to stop citizens from speaking to the city council. Attorney Jimmy Skipper went along with the ordinance and did not advise the City Council that it was illegal. Shirley Reese voted almost exclusively with her White Councilpersons. The Americus Sumter Observer ran articles and cartoons over four years informing the citizens of this alleged traitor to the Black community.

What is so demoralizing is that both of these Black women were educators who had influence over our young people.

We are so disillusioned and frustrated to finally get four Blacks on the Council and for them to become hostile to the very Black leaders who worked for years to achieve that majority. According to several community leaders in Albany, Savannah, and Atlanta, their elected Black officials are not doing what is best for their Black constituents. They all agree that the Blacks in control of a particular form of government [city council, county commissioners, school boards, etc.] are waiting on White elected officials to take the lead and tell them what to do. We regretfully report that the four Blacks on Americus City Council can’t get anything done that benefits our people.

We can’t even get them to vote to remove the current city attorney who is known to allegedly work against Black elected officials. They have the votes but they stubbornly cling to a dangerous Attorney Skipper, the current city attorney. We have our work cut out for us, reports Dr. John Marshall.