Group raises awareness to preserve African American community - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Group raises awareness to preserve African American community

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The manicured lawns and modern architecture makes it hard to tell this quaint, quiet neighborhood is nearly 50 years old; one of Augusta's oldest communities.

Marion D. Griffin Jr. has lived in the Belair Hills Estates since the 1960s. He's one of the residents who will share his experience living in the historically African American Community for the annual "This Place Matters" tour.

"I really would not want to live any other place," Griffin said.

"This Place Matters" is an event organized by the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and Historic Augusta. They're highlighting Belair Hills Estates to raise awareness about the importance of preserving Augusta's historic neighborhoods.

"I think if that fabric starts to tear apart we start to lose that sense of community," said Robyn Anderson, services director with Historic Augusta, Inc. "It's why Augusta is important, its neighborhoods."

This house was the first home built in Belair Hills Estates, and is now one of more than 200 properties in the community.

Griffin says back in the 1950s developers of Belair Hills Estates helped African Americans find homes during a time when it was hard for them to buy and own property. Griffin attributes the start of the community to M.M Scott, who he says had a clear vision for the community.

"He really wanted to find a place where African Americans could build a home for themselves; a nice place for the African American community," Griffin said.

Griffin says the residents in Belair Hills Estates have kept the community a nice place; upholding the vision put forth by the pioneers who developed it.

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