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Editor’s Note: Riot at Revels

Over the years the existence of the lone Black funeral home in an impoverished Black community has taken its toll. Endless streams of families on Social Services seeking funerals for their loved ones with inadequate finances or no life insurance has resulted in the taking on of the financial burden of many not paying their bills. T. Revels Gibson has graciously over the years absorbed the bulk of these losses. It is a rarely recognized case of genuine charity and community service. Case in point, this disgusting display of savagery described above was framed by the family, to this day not paying the bill.

There has been a distinct and gradual erosion of social norms in the Black community as well as the US in general. Funeral services which were once conducted with dignity and the occasional emotional breakdown have sadly become arenas for boisterous and outrageous behaviors. Scenes such as people drinking alcohol, fighting, throwing bottles and smoking weed in churches and sanctuaries is disturbingly, not out of the ordinary.

This latest episode goes beyond what Black folks refer to as, “The Black Tax,” whereby more affluent Blacks accept the periodic financial burden of those less fortunate. This situation has deteriorated to a situation whereby some families, having exhausted their goodwill with the Black-owned home, will pay their bills in advance to White-owned proprietors instead of making good on their debt to T. Revels. This is the business that stood up and supported this community through thick and thin as the years have gone by.

T Revels deserves the respect and support of the entire community. Especially the Black community. T Revels also deserves justice.

This incident leaves the oldest Black owned business in Oneida County and probably many neighboring counties, fighting for its life. Fighting for Justice and fighting for due respect from the community it has served for generations and generations.


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