By Jonathan Morrison
I was born at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center on Monday, April 13, 1981, in the morning. My mother had arrived at the hospital on Sunday evening. During the day before and after my birth, the space shuttle Columbia made its maiden voyage and returned safely. Looking at the stars and other celestial bodies would become an engaging experience throughout my life.
When I was at a turning point in my life and I had to make a choice at the fork in the road, coming home was not my preferred or desired option. With the nation at a decisive moment about future leadership and having to look for certainties in an uncertain world with the financial crisis of the early 2000s, I returned to Fort Worth. Forfeiting the imaginary opportunity cost of whatever financial gain I might acquire in my future, I knew my heavenly reward would be greater. Thirteen years later, I now live in Greater Stop Six because of the Historic Rosedale Park Neighborhood Association.
The area is great! Logistically, we are in range of every possible American experience. My father always told a story of seeing the house I grew up in featured in a magazine when he was younger. I grew up within walking distance of a park, community center, elementary school, two junior highs, a high school and the freeway. Although we do lack access to swimming and aquatics activities in our area, when I was younger I could walk north, south, east or west and find some type of commercial space to purchase things that a kid could afford to buy. There were barbershops, cleaners, restaurants and a grocery store with a meat market and deli. Today, you definitely need transportation to shop.
One Saturday in the Fort Worth Library archives, I stumbled upon an ad for Rosedale Park from the late 40s or early 50s. It was then that I realized what I grew up in during the 1980s and 90s was designed as a suburban neighborhood of downtown Fort Worth: “15 minutes,” the ad proclaimed. Today, many of the spaces all along Rosedale between Fort Worth and Rosedale Park are being redeveloped.
This year, I turned 40, and many stories that are the same for other historically African American and other ethnic communities are the same as ours. Through all the struggle and strife, we are taking back the community and controlling the narrative. After a decade of having open dialogue with community leaders, you see young millennials as developers and contractors proposing and completing major projects. With billions of dollars of development on the horizon because of the Southeast Connector project by TxDOT, we have to prepare for the best and the worst.
Stop Six Census breakdown
Census tract 1036.02
Total population: 2,269
Two or more races: 1%
No degree: 28%
High school: 37%
Some college: 25%
Post grad: 3%
Public schools within two miles
For the 2019 TEA rating of each neighborhood school, click on the name.
The people are great. The people in the neighborhood I live in have changed over time in some ways, and in some they have not. If you look at it by race, then certainly that demographic has changed. I am not sure what the actual income numbers would look like or average household size, but it is still a residential family neighborhood. It is still a small business and working community.
You still see people walking with their families at the park and around the neighborhood with their pets. We have fitness enthusiasts who run through our neighborhood because it is safe and available. I think being able to reach the people is a major concern and where many smaller neighborhoods are having issues.
The people don’t all talk about as many topics as much as they should, and I see that as the area of growth potential for all neighborhoods, homeowner associations and exclusive or volunteer groups across the city, country and the world. Know yourself and know your neighbors, and treat people and groups of people how they identify and want to be treated.
The culture is great. The culture is service. Most entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a problem that exists and solving it for multiple people, whether it is providing health care or providing lawn care. To be in business, you have to serve people. When you think about public service, those are some of the most consistent jobs. That passion or skilled labor has an impact on the culture of a community.
A place that arose from a multitude of business owners and public servants inherited a legacy of service. For 50 years, the District 5 representative for the city of Fort Worth lived in the Historic Carver Heights Overlay and for more than 60 years has been a Greater Stop Six resident. We believe in being involved and having an impact on the change that’s inevitable and that’s necessary.
In 2012, the initial investment was made into a plan that could be vetted and brought to fruition. In 2013, myself and other neighbors used elements of the plan to form our neighborhood association, The Historic Rosedale Park Neighborhood Association. That plan was adopted as part of the city’s comprehensive plan.
In 2017, we were named the 2016 neighborhood of the year. We simply implemented opportunities to show pride in our neighborhood. It’s 2021, and many people still don’t know about the approval of a 2019 Choice Neighborhood Improvement grant application to HUD by the Fort Worth Housing Solutions Inc. and the city of Fort Worth to transform Stop Six.
Or, if they know about the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Improvement Strategy’s current implementation because of the demolition of the former Cavile Place public housing site, maybe they don’t understand their role and potential impact individually or organizationally. I have had the opportunity to go from everyday citizen to contractual participant to make sure that it is done in order and be able to fully inform and empower our neighbors, neighborhood organizations and businesses how to be able to fully participate with impact.
Jonathan Morrison is the president of Be Leveraged LLC. He volunteers as a mentor for Fort Worth ISD’s My Brother’s Keeper/My Sister’s Keeper program. Morrison also is a member of the Evangelical Committee at Baker Chapel AME Church and is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Fort Worth Alumni Chapter.
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