My husband and I, raised thick in African American culture with our extended families in Wichita Falls and Houston’s Fifth Ward, are always amazed by how integrated our sons are. But if Texas is to be strong, it must continue to see racial barriers eliminated—this includes everything from an unequal education system that keeps certain kids from succeeding to freeways that tear cities apart along racial lines. I owe it to my Grandmother Willie, a housekeeper who corrected my grammar with her last breath, to create a Texas that respects difference and does not use it to divide.

Cole is a member of the Austin City Council.

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