Settled by emancipated slaves after the Civil War, Houston’s Fifth Ward was a thriving Black business and cultural hub well into the mid-20th century. In the decades that followed, however, poor city planning contributed to the decline of this downtown community as new freeways split neighborhoods, motivating many families to move to the suburbs.
The video below introduces some of the leaders working to revitalize the community, including Kathy Flanagan Payton, president and CEO of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation(CRC). Fifth Ward CRC works to build and preserve an inclusive Fifth Ward community by developing places and opportunities for people to live, work and play.“Our goal is to increase and enhance opportunities for an improving quality of life through the programs that we offer,” says Payton. Real estate development plays a key role in that, as well as programs that celebrate the Fifth Ward’s heritage and build community pride.