African American community makes progress over the years but still hopes for more change

Iris Lawrence is a leader throughout Amarillo's African American community. Born and raised in Amarillo, she watched how the city has grown over the years.

"The change is great," said Lawrence. "I can say that because as a child and growing up here in Amarillo, I never would have thought that we would have come this far."

Lawrence discussed how the city changed from a point in time where she wasn't allowed to go into a Downtown movie theatre, to when she was elected Potter County Commissioner.

Despite how far the city of Amarillo has come, people we spoke with say there is much more that needs to be done.

"A lot of things can happen in this community," said Taiwan Harper. "I don't know if us as black people are not standing up and saying hey we need this, we need that in the neighborhood."

"I feel like we here in Amarillo as blacks, we need to stick together and stand up and stand firm on what we need in our community," said Emmitt Tatum.

One of their biggest concerns was the up kept of their neighborhood. They believe that by bringing the community together, they would be able to help make much needed changes throughout the area. "I think as a people we can do better by standing up, speaking up because there are grants out there and different things we can apply for that can get out neighborhood better. Get the curbs and get all of the things done," said Harper. For a community that has come so far, they state it should not be this way.

Lawrence not only witnessed change, but was a part of it in Amarillo. Despite the long road ahead, she is happy to see how far she and the city have come. "I can look back and say that we have come a long way. We have come a very long way."