Neighborhoods & Streets - Intro

Since the founding of Austin, African Americans have been present in varying numbers in neighborhoods across the city. And history confirms that Blacks founded some of Austin’s earliest settlements. These first communities might have been somewhat self-segregating, but under Jim Crow—and later, the 1928 City Plan—legal, social and political pressures limited African American’s movement within the City of Austin. As years pass, traditional neighborhood boundaries ebb and flow as shifts in population patterns, new development, and changing community priorities dictate. However, for Central East Austin neighborhoods, the 1928 Plan (which designated East Austin an official “Negro District) facilitated years of officially sanctioned racial discrimination in housing, city services, education, law enforcement and the like. Conversely, this forced segregation also provided favorable cultural conditions for internally strong neighborhoods to emerge and coalesce over the years. The East End District, as a whole, embodies the African American cultural and historic legacy of these communities, neighborhoods, and institutions. The individual, local neighborhoods within greater East Austin all have their own histories, which in turn are crucial and distinct chapters in the story of Black East Austin and the East End District.