Austin, Texas is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. But amidst this transformation, a long-neglected part of town struggles with the legacy of racial discrimination.
African Americans were segregated to East Austin in 1928. In recent years, this population has been rapidly displaced. But after two iconic African-American murals were painted over within days of each other, some in the community decided to fight back.
In Displaced, Not Erased, the Austin American-Statesman investigates the company that quietly bought up over 114 parcels along and around the East 12th street corridor and painted over the Mama Sana mural. In their first on-camera interview, Eureka Holdings explains their intentions as majority stakeholder of this historically black community.
In 2016, Austin was twice plunged into the national debate about race and policing. The first time was in February, when police officer Geoffrey Freeman fatally shot an unarmed, naked black teen who ran toward him. In July, a video was released showing officer Bryan Richter slamming Breaion King, a 26-year-old schoolteacher, to the ground during a routine traffic stop.
With each new report of fatal encounters between African-Americans and police, tough discussions about the role race plays in policing have occurred across the country.
But for black parents, this conversation is nothing new. For generations, they’ve had The Talk with their children about how to survive interactions with police: Don't argue. Don't get shot. Don't give them a reason. Come home.
Many Austinites dislike grackles - loud, intrusive birds that crowd grocery stores, steal food and poop all over cars. But artists in the community point out that these "bad birds" are not so different from the rest of us and deserve to be celebrated.
This is a story about complex creatures - including ourselves.
Robin Richard considered herself an open-minded, liberal supporter of LGBTQ rights - until the morning in March of 2016, when her 12-year-old son came out as a female.
In the summer of 2017, as the Texas Legislature tackled the issue of requiring transgender people to use public restrooms based on the gender of their birth certificate, one mother-daughter pair struggled through their parallel journeys of acceptance.
Medicaid services for Texas children with some of the severest disabilities have sharply declined over the past few years after state leaders enacted several measures to cut costs.
One of those children is Ben Sears, who was hit by a truck on Sept. 12, 2016 while crossing the street in front of his house. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, impairing his cognitive and physical functions.
One year later, his family says that they see progress. But following Medicaid’s denials to twice per week occupational and physical therapy, they worry that his growth will either slow or regress.
Jenny Robson said about her son, “This is our chance to get our son back and they’re denying him the therapy that he needs.”
On Aug. 29, 2017, President Donald Trump visited the Department of Public Safety in Austin, Texas for briefings on Hurricane Harvey damage and relief efforts. Outside, protesters and supporters had a heated exchange.
In one of her first on-camera interviews about the 'I love you so much' mural, musician Amy Cook opens up about the original sign that she found in New York City, and the love story that prompted the iconic mural in Austin.
Deloris Fields was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 23-years-old. After chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, she went into remission. Two years later, the day after she gave birth to her son Connor Guenther, doctors told Fields that the cancer had returned.
Most women with metastic breast cancer survive less than five years. Fields worries about her son growing up without her, but considers herself a fighter.
"They say God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers," Fields said. "If that's true, then I'm a warrior."
Marcelo Gracia was 38 when he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Six years later, the disease ravaged his body. In September 2017, doctors predicted that he had three months left to live.
"I feel fortunate that my son Gael is helping me as much as he can," said Marcel Gracia about 24-year-old Gael Guadalupe Gracia Garcia. Gael Garcia cared for his father full-time while working shifts at a D&R Wash and Dry laundromat.
Marcelo Gracia died on Feb. 7, 2018.
In a 2014 survey of Rundberg residents, 40 percent told the Austin Police Department they felt their neighborhood was a safe place to live. In 2015, that number increased to 74 percent.
Abel Lopez, a former drug-dealer and gang affiliate, changed with his community - for the better. Now, as a member of the Restore Rundberg revitalization team, he tells Spanish-speaking residents about upcoming meetings and makes sure immigrants feel comfortable calling the police.
Richard Overton is the nation's oldest WWII veteran. He lives in East Austin where he enjoys the perks of being a local celebrity and endures misfortune that come with outliving his contemporaries.
The most dangerous time for a women in an abusive relationship is when she leaves. These three women left anyways.