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Advocates for a predominantly black neighborhood in Corpus Christi fight for equal treatment

Residents in the Hillcrest neighborhood say they can't even get pizza delivered there

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Black Lives Matter movement isn't just about combating police brutality but inequality anywhere.

Here in Corpus Christi, a group of people are fighting against inequality when it comes to what they say used to be thriving African American neighborhood.

"Ah, it was Alice and Wonderland," Lamont Taylor said.

Long time resident of the Hillcrest community, Lamont Taylor is describing what the neighborhood used to be like.

"It was a community where you had individuals from every strata of the social stream in the African American community," he said. "It was here in Hillcrest."

But Taylor said the city didn't seem to care to preserve Hillcrest.

"The city of Corpus Christi became complacent and they let us move in and also the refineries," he said.

He said that's one reason people began to leave, but the final push came from the Port of Corpus Christi and the voluntary relocation and acquisition program.

Taylor sits on the Hillcrest Allianace for Fairness and Progress board. 

He said when the blueprint for the new harbor bridge was mapped out it cut off the Hillcrest community from the rest of the city.

Taylor said they filed a civil rights complaint and won, so the Port of Corpus Christi offered to buy families out and move them. 

Now Hillcrest is filled with empty plots of land.

'I began to see the bulldozers come through and knock down house by house and now more than 300 homes have been demolished," Adam Carrington, pastor of Brooks AME Worship Center said.

Adam Carrington is the pastor of the only church left in Hillcrest and liaison between the neighborhood, city and port.

He said the community needs people to stand up for it or they'll be forgotten.

"We have people who come by dump their trash, dump their dogs in the neighborhood," Carrington said. "If this had been an all white neighborhood I think the response would be a lot faster than it is for this neighborhood as it is right now."

Carrington said he has been in talks with the city manager Peter Zanoni to make sure Hillcrest receives proper municipal resources and while it has gotten better he says progress is slow.

"There is still some beautiful people that live here in this community, but they are by themselves their friends are gone, their neighbors are gone, people they grew up with for 50 or 40 years," he said.

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