EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Philadelphia is where Bettie Sidberry was born, but for her Northeast El Paso is now home. And unfortunately, she says, sometimes it feels like her home is constantly overlooked, until recently.
“They consider this as a black section here. It seems like we’re being ignored, you know, like ‘who cares about this section cause it’s just mostly blacks over here,'” Sidberry, 78 said.
Better known as “Miss Bettie,” she moved from Philadelphia to El Paso 11 years ago.
“It was not only just black people speaking to me, it was Mexicans, whites and they were friendly and I liked that,” she said. “So, I said when I retire I’ll come here.”
And so she did.
However, recently her house has been in need of much-needed repairs. At her age, she can’t do it alone but much like her neighborhood, she feels neglected.
Sidberry said she feels there is a stigma about the Northeast community, but she still loves the people.
“When I first came, I thought it was nice that’s why I said it was so friendly. That’s what made me get this home. Sure, I could have gone somewhere else but I didn’t know anywhere else about El Paso or where else to go,” said Sidberry.
As more people are looking for ways to support their black communities, four local companies got together to help Sidberry directly. All without asking for credit.
“We’ve been paying attention and if you’ve been paying attention you’ve seen the condition of our community,” said Lincoln Jurado, an El Paso business owner.
The companies cleaned up Miss Bettie’s yard, added solar panels to the roof, fixed her air conditioning are working to clean and fill up her pool. The companies did not want to be named and Jurado, said this isn’t about recognition rather helping a neighbor.
“I feel like somebody heard it. Somebody heard me you know when I would cry out about it you know even though I was saying nobody’s listening nobody cares. But somebody was listening and I just said ‘Thank God’ for that,” said Sidberry.
“A lot of people don’t know that people like Miss Bettie exists here in El Paso they don’t know people’s situations. A lot of people don’t want to expose that to others and a lot of people don’t want to ask for things,” said Jurado.
Miss Bettie hopes that those who want to show their solidarity with black communities, do so by helping their neighbors. Saying actions speak louder than words.