A few blocks north of the University of Houston is an area that can best be described as the ghetto. There are run down houses, vacant lots and many people who appear to be out of work. Somewhere in that area is Emancipation Park. Dorris Ellis is president of a group that hopes to return the park and the surrounding area to its glory days.
“From 1872 to the 1940’s, this was the only place African Americans could go, relax and have fun. But after integration in the sixties, the interest in the park was no longer here because people were able to expand their territories.”
Ellis’ group, Friends of Emancipation Park, has a host of activities scheduled next month to celebrate the freeing of the slaves. They also have a long range goal of helping people in the neighborhood.
“When I was doing research the average income was $13,000 dollars now what can you do with $13,000 dollars. Not enough. So we need to provide opportunities so persons can find a way to lift themselves as we try to provide them instructions and hope and support.”
The group plans to unveil an historical marker at the park on June 19th. Bill Stamps, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.