Blackshear Bridge is collaborating this spring with community partners in creative place keeping. We’re getting our heads, hearts, and agendas together to celebrate and preserve what is historically special and important about Blackshear-Prospect Hill.
To us who are concerned with ending racism and establishing equity, what is most important is promoting the rightful legacy of our long-time generational African American and Latino neighbors, following their leadership, supporting the historic schools and churches, organizing alongside and helping out our neighbors.
Blackshear-Prospect Hill is in the heart of Austin’s African American Cultural Heritage District. Our neighborhood is crowned on top by two historic African American schools – Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy and across the street, our neighborhood’s largest employer and the first university in Austin — Huston-Tillotson University. Our neighborhood is home to several historic African American churches — many of whose members have moved over the years to Pflugerville, Round Rock, and other suburbs yet return each weekend and some weekdays to gather with church communities. Blackshear Neighborhood Development Corporation builds, sells and rents affordable housing. Our partner Six Square: Austin’s Black Cultural District promotes black artists and the churches.
We hope you will join us by speaking with your neighbors, attending one of the events highlighted in this newsletter, getting involved in Blackshear-Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association and OCEAN, the Organization of Central East Austin Neighborhoods to get creative in our place keeping.
WHAT’S YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD VISION
Blackshear Bridge priorities at the neighborhood planning level are 1. Bring together neighbors who share these values of affordability and undoing racism to define a shared Neighborhood Vision, 2. Encourage City transparency in the application process at Heritage Heights, 3. Develop a Property Tax Assistance Fund that East Austin Conservancy has agreed to administer, 4. Encourage more affordable housing for staff and families of the two historic schools.
Meetings of Blackshear-Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association and OCEAN, the Organization of Central East Austin Neighborhoods are where decisions are being made about the vision and development of our neighborhood. While we can’t recover, what’s been lost in some of the most intense displacement in the nation (Outlier Tang et al and Uprooted Wegmann, Mueller, Wey), we can develop a community-approved vision and communicate that to developers who are now looking at both the perimeter and business corridors of our neighborhood – E. 7th Street, Webberville, Northwestern, Rosewood, Chicon, and the residential interior where our homes are. We can be proactive to defend and preserve the character of Blackshear-Prospect Hill.
What is your vision for your neighborhood? How high would you like to see surrounding condos? Would you like them to have more affordable housing units? Would you like pedestrian and bicycle corridors and plenty of trees and native landscaping for pollinators?
Would you like developers to mitigate the rising cost of living by contributing to a Property Tax Assistance Fund to help long-time generational neighbors keep their homes?
Would you like AISD to preserve and support our community school? We would.
Let us know what you think! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come get involved!
UPCOMING NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS
Thursday, April 25, 5:30 PM Mayor’s Proclamation at City Council of Blackshear Elementary & Friendly R. Rice Day
Thursday, April 25, 6:30 PM Eastside Pies social Blackshear Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association
Friday, April 26, 8:00 AM Mural Unveiling & Blackshear Reunion Breakfast
Monday, April 29, 6:30 PM OCEAN Meeting at Carver Library – Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison will attend
Saturday, May 4, 1-3 PM Property Tax Town Hall
Thursday, May 30, 6:30 PM Blackshear Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association (BPHNA) meeting
Wednesday, June 19 BPHNA Juneteenth Dinner
See http://www.blackshearprospecthill.org/events for details.
Donna Hoffman, Sustainability Coordinator, Blackshear Bridge & Secretary of the Board of Blackshear-Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association