Rewriting racist property deeds in Texas

A community in Houston is struggling to get rid of the racist language in their deeds. Here's what's being done to make these changes.

Video Transcript

- Normally, neighborhood deed restrictions are created with good intentions. They may prevent someone from, perhaps, building a go kart track on the front lawn.

- Yeah, we can understand some of those purposes. Unfortunately, deed restrictions have also been used in nefarious ways, including the decades-old racial restrictions put in place to prevent people of color from owning property. In the Oak Forest neighborhood in Northwest Houston. That is where we find ABC13 race and culture reporter Corey McGinnis this afternoon. Corey?

CORE MCGINNIS: Yeah, good evening, guys. For the last year or so, this community has been fighting tooth and nail trying to rewrite these deed restrictions. And they even went so far by posting signs like this in their front yards that say fix Oak Forest deeds. Now the community itself was chartered back in the late 1940s. And in black and white, the deed states none of the homes in Oak forests can be owned or occupied by any person not of the white race, except servants living with their employers. The residents I spoke with are now vocal and seek to remove that language. Here's what one resident had to say.

- It's time to change things to reflect who we are now, not and we were a long time ago.

CORE MCGINNIS: Now that community member, [INAUDIBLE], he also let me know that he got his attorneys and lawyers involved here in the community. But that's only half the battle. Coming up tonight at 10:00, you'll hear more from the county clerk, and you'll hear exactly how she's helping communities like this one. We're live in Oak Forest tonight. Corey McGinnis, "ABC13 Eyewitness News."