Turning the pages of history: New book to highlight the history of Amarillo’s Barrio community

Turning the pages of history: New book to highlight the history of Amarillo's Barrio community

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Flipping the pages of a book, readers are taken to other times and places.

In the case of a new book, they are taken on a very real journey through the Barrio.

"The Barrio is just a term which means neighborhood. The Barrio is a neighborhood," said Lilia Escajeda, a community volunteer. "There are a lot of people that made a big impact on the community."

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The neighborhood's rich history led community members to come together and write the first-ever book about the area. The pages of 'Amarillo Barrio Historical District: Past, Present and Future' are filled with historical sites, photos and stories of important leaders and early residents.

"I believe everybody has a story to tell. And our early residents, we were fortunate, had beautiful stories to tell what was successful for them and what was not," said Teresa Kenedy, a co-author of the book. "This community is about family, culture and being resourceful."

Kenedy and the other authors will host a free Amarillo Barrio Book Kickoff Party on Monday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Amarillo Wesley Community Center. Books will be available at $25 per book or $100 for five books.

Escajeda, a longtime Barrio resident featured in the new book, says it's important for the history to be preserved.

"You can't erase history. You can forget about it, but you can't erase it," said Escajeda. "It's important for our younger generations to know there were people who paved the way for them and made things easier for them."

With a number of schools in the area, the book full of history can also serve as a useful tool in the classroom.

"Educate our younger generation on this is what it took, these are some of the people that worked real hard and put the blood, sweat and tears into creating this neighborhood," said Manny De Los Santos, a local pastor with Power Church and member of the Barrio's task force.

He believes this is just the first of many books on the Barrio's history.

"This is just the first installment because I think there are leaders coming up behind the leaders here today, so not only or we educating young people, young students, new residents to Amarillo about the community, but we're also challenging and showing there is a bar that we believe you can exceed," said De Los Santos.

In a future full of potential, this is one book without an ending.

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