Native & White Americans

Jews and Christians

East & West Austin

Symbols are important. There is no more fitting symbol for Dr. J.J. Seabrook’s life and ministry than placing his name on the most important bridge across the City of Austin’s racial dividing line of IH-35 in the center of town. It was largely Dr. Seabrook’s personal sacrifice that convicted the all-white, 1975 Austin city council to rename 19th street, which stretches from downtown to the city’s largely-black east side, after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This city, our city, should be grateful that a person like Bob O’Dell, after learning about the story of Dr. Seabrook, could get upset enough to put together a team of black and white leaders to get this done in a few weeks. I pray that such unity and genuine friendship would be purposely nurtured in our city among leaders who are often siloed and marginalized among their constituencies by race, economic status or geography. We can do better. Bob’s team proved that. Dr. Seabrook proved that. The J.J. Seabrook bridge points the way.