Recognizing Black History Month is not only vital to the African American community, but the community as a whole.
WTVY is recognizing wiregrass residents who are making a significant difference to society.
We look at the life of a man who used to visit Dothan during summer vacations as a child and now that he's older, hopes to develop the areas of Dothan that are too often forgotten.
Larry Johnson says it all began at 616 West Newton Street in Dothan, his grandparents' house. As a child, Larry and his family would come here from Newark, New Jersey to visit them.
His late grandfather had owned a local drycleaners.
"The Pastor, Rochestor Johnson, would be right out here playing basketball with us. It was great a totally different atmosphere. Miss Trudy lived right down the street, we would eat cakes and cookies at her house sometimes, it was just a totally different atmosphere," Johnson says.
But now that atmosphere that Johnson speaks of is considered one of the most dangerous parts of town. With dilapidated and abandoned houses lining the sidewalks.
This is why Larry, an architect, started Clear Perfection Incorporated, a development firm with offices in Dothan, and New York.
The six contractors with the firm, refurbish, renovate, and build houses. Johnson's hope is to bring a spirit of empowerment by bringing life back to Dothan’s minority residential areas.
You’ve probably seen one of his developments on Range Street, the townhouses that stand out from their surroundings in Dothan’s historic district.
"I see an opportunity, I see a need, and not only do I see an opportunity and a need, I see that this is something that we should do for the greater fabric of Dothan," Johnson says
And as the outskirts of Dothan continually are developed, Larry says he's going to continue building up in the circle city's inner core. Currently, he's renovating an antebellum mansion with the carriage house, two former crack houses, and the house he made a summer home on 616 West Newton Street.
Johnson quit his job at a large development firm in New York to start his company.
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