Lufkin responds to 'Martin Luther King' report on Texas racial integration

Lufkin responds to 'Martin Luther King' report on Texas racial integration

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With the dream of the legendary Martin Luther King Jr. in mind, WALLETHUB conducted a report named after him. The Martin Luther King report measured all fifty states, along with our nation's capitol, on their racial integration. The report ranked Texas to have some of the smallest gaps when it comes to income and employment.

Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a powerful speech over 50 years ago.

"He was a King to play upon words. I thought that he would be a savior, and indeed he was in the black community," said Dr. Dallas Pierre, a Lufkin doctor of dentistry.

Today, analysts say King's dream is becoming a reality in Texas. However, several said when it comes to closing the gaps between white and black employment and income, there is much left to be improved.

"One thing he fought for is those people who had those common labor jobs to get the same level of improvement in salary as everyone else," said Alex Alexander, the president of Angelina County Citizen's Chamber of Commerce.

The MLK report ranked Texas 10th in gaps between white and black residents as business owners.

"I think it's difficult to say, you spoke of Texas, but in Lufkin, it's difficult to get a business financed," Pierre said.

Alexander said the Angelina County Citizen's Chamber of Commerce takes strides to close the gaps that do exist.

"What we try to do its provide information and also advertise and give the business exposure," Alexander said.

Texas came in 9th concerning the gap in home ownership.

"We invest in home ownership to those who can't afford housing and make sure they get economic counseling," Alexander said.

Annual income and unemployment rates were reported to have small gaps in Texas, but for some, one question arises.

"Why is it taking so long for Martin Luther King's dream to come to fruition?" Pierre asked.

Though the numbers suggest that the African-Americans in Texas are moving off the "lonely island of poverty" that King spoke of, Pierre said there is more work to be done.

"We still have a long way to go," Pierre said. "I don't think Texas is very close to that end that Martin Luther King talks about."

According to the study, Texas also ranked to have the 3rd smallest gap between white and black residents living in poverty.

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