Beyond the Report

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

Cruising down Parkway Drive, businesses dot the side of the road. Locally-owned restaurants, in particular, hold their own in East Lubbock. There aren’t many food options, so most neighbors support what they have. 

But you also see empty buildings and shopping centers. Some, in pretty rough shape. 

 

 

Local historian Cosby Morton said it wasn’t always like this. 

“Because of segregation, we were independent,” Morton said. “We had to make do. We had to adjust.”

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

Charlotte Ellis gave a tour of her new home. Even without furniture or decor quite yet, it already has personal touches, like shelves at a height Ellis can easily reach.The newly-built four-bedroom home was constructed specifically for Ellis and her three children that live with her. 

 

 

After putting in hundreds of hours of what’s called “sweat equity,” Ellis is now a homeowner through Lubbock Habitat for Humanity. Her home is in the Talkington addition of the Parkway-Cherry Point neighborhood.

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

Jafar Abdullah brought three books to read lakeside at his neighborhood park on a recent warm afternoon. He gave a synopsis of each one. The top book is about the history of Islam and the bottom book is about poverty. In the middle is “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, a title Abdullah said came highly recommended by one of his mentors.

 

 

The 2012 book challenges the idea of racial colorblindness in the criminal justice system. It equates the mass incarceration of Black Americans to a class system that can affect generations. 

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

On a mild Monday evening, people cast their lines into the Historic Dunbar Lake, hoping a fish will bite. At the other end of the park system, families picnic and walk the trails along Conquistador Lake. 

 

This is how Mari Huerta thinks of the Canyon Lakes system -- a tranquil slice of nature. She’s enjoyed the North Lubbock lakes since she was a kid.

“We would go and get a snow cone or an ice cream cone and then just go sit and dip our feet in the water,” Huerta said. 

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

Community advocate Natalie Miller has sounded the alarm for years now. She presented her position clearly at a recent Coffee with the Mayor event at the only grocery store in East Lubbock. 

“We don’t want industries in our backyard,” she told Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope. “Just like you wouldn’t appreciate it, neither do we.” 

 

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