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Preservation Of The Percy Julian Historic Home

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My worst nightmare is about to happen.
My house is going up for tax sale on November 5, 2021.
The tax sale had been postponed “indefinitely” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since tax sales usually
only occur once per year on May 1st, I was hoping that my house would not be subject to a tax sale until
May, 2022, giving me the opportunity to raise the funds. I wasn’t even sent a notice of the proposed sale,
so I was completely caught off guard when I learned about it.
 
I am in desperate need of your help. I need $36,445 immediately to stop my house from being sold for
taxes. I owe $117,040 for 3 years of delinquent taxes (2018, 2019, 2020). The 2018 tax sale is the one
occurring on November 5, 2021. If  I  can  raise $36, 445 in the next 4 weeks, it will stop that tax
sale; otherwise, come November, someone will buy all 3 years of my delinquent taxes, and I will lose my
home.


The 2019 tax sale is May 1, 2022, so, hopefully, I will raise the remaining   taxes by that time
($80,595).
 
 I want so much to save this historic home – my dad’s last legacy.   I am the sole survivor of my family, and I have lived in this 
houses for 70 years.  I had hopes of it becoming a place to  hold lectures
that would benefit children,  but none of this will happen
if it is sold for taxes.  Also, I shall be homeless.

My dad, Dr. Percy Julian, was the grandson of slaves. Born in 1899, he grew up in a segregated America,
and fought racial discrimination the majority of his life; and, yet, he achieved unparalleled acclaim as an
organic research chemist. My dad was renowned for:
  • Making cortisone available to millions to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other
  • inflammatory conditions, as told in the NOVA PBS documentary, “Forgotten Genius”
  • Synthesizing a drug to treat the eye disease glaucoma.
  • Synthesizing the female sex hormone progesterone, which went into the first birth control pill.
  • Developing a fire-fighting foam, saving countless lives during WWII.
He and my mother, Dr. Anna Julian, who was the first African-American woman to get a Ph.D. in sociology,
were both pioneers. Together they broke down racial barriers and overcame violence directed against
them.
 
Our home was bombed in 1951, when we moved into the white suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. I was seven.
The previous year, on the night before we were to move in, someone broke into our home, poured
kerosene on the floors and attempted to torch the house, delaying our move until the following year. The
night our home was bombed, my brother and I were left alone with a babysitter. My parents had gone to
Baltimore, Maryland, to attend my grandfather’s funeral. Since my dad had been chosen Chicagoan of the
Year, the newspapers carried the news of his father’s death.
 
The bomb was thrown at my bedroom window, but detonated on the ground, causing minimal damage.
The damage to my psyche was much worse. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. My
dad had to hire a guard for 2 years, because we couldn’t get police protection. Oak Park turned off our
water attempting to force us to move. A second bomb was even sent to us in the mail, but was intercepted
by the post office.
 
We received threatening letters for 7 years, notifying my parents that their children “would die” if sent to
school. We were the only Black children in the entire Oak Park school system for 12 consecutive years.
When I entered high school, the letters read: “Your son made it through high school, but we’ll see to it
that your daughter never graduates.” The prophesy almost came true, as I was continuously spat on,
called the “N” word, and threatened with gang rape. Somehow, I survived all of this and graduated.

Today, Oak Park honors my dad with a middle school bearing his name and a bust of him in front of the
main library.
 
For the past 3 years, the Village of Oak Park has cited me with code violations for needed repairs. The
Village has planned to take legal action against me by November 1, 2021, if the repairs have not been
made, or if I cannot produce signed contracts from qualified construction companies assuring that the
work will be done. In order to produce signed contracts, a down payment is required, and I don’t have
the money. The needed repairs are estimated at $312,000.

I have been very ill. In 2017, I underwent 3 major surgeries and was not expected to live. I was confined
to the hospital and rehab for 4 months and spent another 4 months with in-home nursing care. My
wounds failed to heal, so I spent the next 2 years in weekly wound care. Unfortunately, due to the surgery,
I was left with permanent injuries that necessitate my using a walker. My medical expenses are $32,654
(includes hospital bills, medicine, and insurance).

I have fallen on hard times. I have exhausted my savings. I have zero income – no social security, no
pension.

The $1,115,000  needed will include:
  •  Delinquent property taxes $117,040;
  •  Projected property tax in 2021 $49,493;
  •  House related expenses through 2022 $72,744 (includes utilities, telephone, insurance, landscaping,
  • supplies, cleanup, organizer);
  •  Medical expenses $32,654;
  •  Repairs $312,000;
  •  Credit card debt $210,568 ($109,654 in debt collection);
  •  Loans $188,000 (includes $40,000 to the Village of Oak Park); and
  • Living expenses for 2 years $132,500.
 
The Bible says, “to whom much is given, much is required.” I have tried my whole life to help others. My
parents instilled this in me. I promise you, if I am able to save my house from tax sales and liens and climb
out of this horrendous debt, I will pay my good fortune forward. Please help. Thank you from the bottom
of my heart.
 
Please share my gofundme with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, Emails, texting, snail mail
– any way you can. Thanks so much.
Donate

Donations 

  • Brad Wooten
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Kurt A Johnson
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Josephine Bailey
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Charles McDonald
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Keith Ahmad
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
Donate

Organizer

Faith Julian
Organizer
Oak Park, IL
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