On My Block ATX

12th & Chicon: Live Broadcast Wrap-up

In October, KUT embarked on a project to tell the story of a neighborhood in transition: the area around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin. Decades ago, it was a center of black life in the city, but over the past few years, the forces of gentrification have taken hold. We opened a bureau…

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12th & Chicon: Surviving the Development

KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke with Nefertiti Jackmon, executive director of Six Square, and Natasha Madison of the 12th Street Merchants’ Association at a live broadcast during Morning Edition from the Urban Co-Lab on 12th and Chicon streets. This is an excerpt from the entire broadcast which can be heard on another episode of this podcast.

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12th & Chicon: AISD’s Achievement Gap

As the Austin Independent School District deals with declining enrollment and decisions about facilities and campuses, many wonder if students across the district are getting the same quality of education. AISD school board member Ted Gordon, who represents District 1 in East and Northeast Austin, joined KUT’s Jennifer Stayton to discuss achievement gaps and possible…

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12th & Chicon: Austin’s Affordability Crisis

Dr. Eric Tang is an associate professor at the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis at UT-Austin. After analyzing that data a few years back, Tang wanted to look more closely at why African-Americans were leaving Austin – specifically, East Austin. KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke to Tang about this new research for our On…

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12th & Chicon: Preserving the Community’s History

On the East Side, development and rising property costs continue to force the African-American community out. With such rapid migration, how have the neighborhood’s history and culture and the city’s African-American population been preserved? LaToya Devezin, the community archivist at the Austin History Center, spoke to KUT’s Jennifer Stayton about the work of local archivists…

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12th & Chicon: Growing Up on the East Side

The neighborhoods in East Austin looked a lot different in the 1980s and 90s. Two childhood friends who grew up near 12th and Chicon reflect upon their youth, their struggles and the mistakes they made. They wonder if the crime of yesteryear in their community lead to its gentrification.

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12th & Chicon: Showing Kealing Students Their Potential

Kealing Middle School Principal Kenisha Coburn is focused on figuring out ways to get the school’s underrepresented students to realize their academic potential. The school is divided between a magnet program, which accepts students from across the district, and the academy program, which is made up of students from the neighborhood. One of the first…

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12th & Chicon: What’s The Future Of East 12th Street?

One-fourth of what was once a thriving business corridor for Austin’s African-American community is now owned by Eureka Holdings, a company based in Grapevine, outside Dallas. Eureka is currently renting some of these properties and the buildings on them, other properties are undeveloped and being held for undetermined future plans.

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12th & Chicon: Churches Adapt to Changes

The loss of long-time East Austin residents is changing the look of some congregations. The handful of remaining churches are learning to embrace the diversity and changes within their communities, but some are left with no choice but to pull up their roots and move to a new location.

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12th & Chicon: Remembering the Harlem Theater

According to a book co-written by the curator of the Austin History Center, the Harlem Theater was one of only seven black-owned theaters in the country in the early 20th century. And, compared to other theaters in Austin, where black customers were either not allowed or segregated to the balcony seats, it offered moviegoers their…

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12th & Chicon: The Stability in Huston-Tillotson

Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette says as the neighborhood surrounding the historically black college expands, the footprint and impact of the university must, as well. HT was once two separate schools founded in the late 19th century, Samuel Huston College and Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute. In 1952, the schools combined.

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12th & Chicon: The Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex

The murder of 16-year-old Tamika Ross in East Austin in 1992 started a journey for social justice that would take seven long years to complete. The history of the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex may not be well known, but its impact is felt and appreciated throughout the community.

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12th & Chicon: Consistency of Sausage Making

Gary Tharp, owner of Texas Sausage Company, has been running the the business since 1988. He says he’s considered moving from the East 12th Street location, but that it would likely cost more to move than it would to stay put. Tharp’s business has been in his family for the better part of 70 years.

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12th & Chicon: Hot Street, Cold Street

East 11th seems to be the picture of urban renewal in Austin. Since the city launched its revitalization effort in 1999, the street has made significant progress toward becoming a visitor destination. Residential, retail and office development is booming. Just a few blocks away on East 12th, things are a lot quieter.

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12th & Chicon: Allowing Denser Housing

Neighborhoods in East Austin are not immune to the difficult deliberations over housing density, affordability, and when a “tear-down” truly needs to be labeled historic. City council and the Historic Landmark Commission are challenged with weighing the rights of a homeowner and the desire to preserve Austin’s history.

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12th & Chicon: Preserving History

Ebony Acres, a historically black neighborhood in East Austin, is at the crossroads of preservation and development. With some homes slated for demolition, some neighbors are trying to slow the tides of change.

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12th & Chicon: Mentoring, Connecting with Students

Nearly a quarter of students at Kealing Middle School are considered at-risk of dropping out, which is why the PTA runs a mentorship program. Meet mentor Gabriel Russell, a student at Huston-Tillotson, and Joshua Morgan, a Kealing student. They’re involved in the Kealing Men program. Several local and national programs have cropped up focusing on…

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12th & Chicon: A Steady Business

In East Austin a lot has changed–new homes, new businesses, new residents-–but there are some things that have stayed the same. As part of our On My Block series, KUT’s Lauren Hubbard brings us to Marshall’s Barbershop, a longtime fixture in the neighborhood that’s now one of the few black-owned businesses in the neighborhood.

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12th & Chicon: It’s Not the Same East Side

Judy Mitchell grew up in the neighborhood and raised her children there, but she’s sad that many longtime residents are being offered money to leave their homes and then can’t afford to stay in the neighborhood. Mitchell owns the Ideal Soul Mart at the corner of Angelina Street and Rosewood Avenue.

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12th & Chicon: A Corner of Change and Diversity

On one East Austin corner, Bobby Mitchell operates Ideal Soul Mart, Ideal Beauty Salon, and Swamp Daddy’s Cajun food truck. Inches away, Charles Carver operates a law office from an Airstream in the parking lot. The convergence of these varied services is emblematic of the new businesses moving into the neighborhood.

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