African-American community in CSRA preserving its history, future

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Saturday, June 29, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- With crime in Richmond County always an issue, one neighborhood in Augusta is taking steps to preserve its streets to keep crime off of them. It's happening in the Belair Hill Estates, where the community is stepping up to take care of its neighborhood.

"We've had a tremendous amount of improvement," said Marion Griffin, the president of the Belair Hill Estates Neighborhood.

He's lived in the neighborhood for more than 60 years, back when there was just a handful of homes, including his. Those homes, the founders of the neighborhood.

"This was their life dream, ambition, they left a legacy for us to continue," he said.

But as violence has found its way into surrounding neighborhoods, that dream is always in danger of being damaged.

Griffin told News 12 the streets here are just like they were in the 60s.

"This is a place we call home, we have a covenant in this community," he explained.

Alex Thomas works with historic preservation across the country.

"Preservation is key to our history, being able to preserve that culture and heritage," Thomas said.

The founders offered lots for sale to Augusta's African-American community.

"This does mean a lot to people, not only in this community, but it could mean a lot to people outside of this area," he said.

It's a place Griffin wants to keep safe and preserved, all for his children and others after them.

"We're concerned about Belair, we're concerned about Belair," he said.

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