Community members works to preserve, revitalize Pleasant Hill

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer Little Richard Penniman, medal of honor recipient Rodney Davis, and so many others have ties to Pleasant Hill.

Community members say they want to preserve history and improve the quality of life in a neighborhood. Some say it’s been forgotten.

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When you drive through the Pleasant Hill neighborhood, a highway cuts it in half and blighted homes line the streets.

“Just imagine driving passed that. I can tell people think no one cares,” Tonj Khabyr said.

Community members like Khabyr, Antonio Simmons, and others are working to help revitalize the neighborhood and keep its rich African-American history.



“This community is here and it’s loved just like the other communities,” Simmons said.

Khabyr says the Bobby Jones Performing Arts Center on Jefferson Street has been vacant for more than a decade. Through a grant she received from the Knight Foundation, she’s surveying and getting input from Pleasant Hill residents on how they’d like to see the center put to use.

“People think that it needs to be something for the youth. With the issues that are happening in the community, people just want kids to have something to do,” she said.

Simmons says he wants to teach the youth proper dining etiquette.

“They don’t really know the truth on how to eat properly. When I get older and become a businessman, how do I sit at the table? How do I sit at the table? The little things,” he said.

As the old saying goes: It takes a village.

“Just being able to continue to tell the stories of people who live there,” Khabyr said.

Khabyr says the survey is running until May 18th and students from Savannah Arts and Design will help design the layout on May 18th.

Simmons plans to put on a carnival for the Pleasant Hill neighborhood.