LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – They march to remember a man with a dream that one day everyone would be equal.
One Lufkinite is still working to make that dream a reality for many North Lufkin residents.
"It's kind of been cliché to say that living the American dream was being a homeowner, so hopefully by doing this we can also help all the individuals in the community achieve that dream," said Malcolm Deason of First Bank and Trust.
Deason, who works at First Bank and Trust East Texas, is teaming up with the North Lufkin Leadership Council to provide training to North Lufkinites on how they can position themselves to buy or build a home.
"We've definitely made progress as a community, there's no doubt about that and I don't have statistics to support what home ownership percentages are in the African American community," Deason said. "But even with that being said we still have more information to address."
A high percentage of North Lufkin residents do not own their homes, instead a landlord is in charge of the property, something Deason's looking to change."
"Part of us fulfilling Dr. King's dream is to educate our young people and our communities on how they can better themselves financially," Deason said.
James Fears has been involved with Pinewood Park Apartments, a low-income housing development, from the start in the early 70s.
"We've come a long way, even the house I had to live in," Fears said. "I had to go to the outside bathroom."
Fears supports the undertaking.
"I would love to see that happen, but I don't think it will ever be," Fears said. "But I think it's something to work towards."
Deason says it's his God-given responsibility to help his community learn how they can achieve the dream of owning their own home.
Dozens participated in the annual march in downtown Lufkin. Following the march, Lacy Chimney Sr. joined Fears in the Hall of Honor induction at Dunbar Primary School.