Tuesday morning Dallas Independent School District broke ground on Albert C. Black Elementary School in South Oak Cliff. The ceremony not only marked the beginning of construction but also celebrated the Dallas businessman and philanthropist the school is named after.
"I am completely humbled, my family is honored as I am, we think this is a big deal," Albert C. Black Jr. said.
Black, who is the founder of On-Target Supplies & Logistics and READYTOWORK, grew up in South Dallas.
He's been an entrepreneur most of his life. At the age of ten, he started a lawn care business and his go-getter spirit launched into the success he's achieved over the years.
Black, who is a husband and father of three adult children, has sat on many boards for organizations and companies. He was the first Black person to be Chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Along with philanthropy, Black has also been influential in local politics over the years.
As an advocate for education and social justice, Black said he plans to make himself available to parents and students as a resource himself to help boost the community in addition to the school itself.
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"This is an opportunity for us to plan another 20 years of civic activity that will give the students at the Albert C. Black STEAM Academy, an advantage that will carry them through life," he said.
"Now our kids have the opportunity to look at a man that looks like them, that is still alive and they can touch and talk to and learn from, that's important," said Pastor Maxie Johnson, DISD Trustee for District 5. "And that's going to encourage them to say "If he did it and he came from the projects, I can too."
The total budget for the school is close to $31 million. It will serve as a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, STEAM, school with an emphasis on financial literacy.
"A lot of times in our community we always talk about debt and what we can not do, but we never really talk about preparing our kids for the future," said Johnson. "By this school being a financial literacy school, it's going to teach them about credit, it’s going to teach them about budget, teach them about if you save your money, your money will save you."
"In areas that people don't know about financial literacy is a hard spot where we have to go introduce it and then, don't lose patience, stay with it long enough until it becomes cultural. We can indeed make financial literacy culture. I was fortunate enough, even though we lived in the projects, my mother was a real stickler for a dollar," said Black.
Located at 4200 Bonnie View Rd., the new school will be built where the old W.W. Bushman Elementary School was. Once completed, which is expected to be in 2024, students from Elisha M. Pease Elementary and W.W. Bushman will attend Black Elementary School.