A SIT IN BY MEMBERS OF BLACK STUDENTS CHANGED A PART OF SAN ANTONIO

 

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity with the SA Observer to share my perspective on issues and initiatives. The purpose of my commentary is to provide insight about my work and my role in representing D2 on the Alamo College District Board. I take my responsibility of serving D2 very seriously. 

 

Over the weekend I attended two events that were not official Alamo College functions, but in my capacity as a representative of D2, I felt it was important to be a part of those activities. At times, a representative must be aware of the impact events have in our community.

 

The first event was the Annual meeting of the local chapter of the NAACP. This historic organization has led the fight for inclusion and diversity. Their efforts to end segregation in communities across our Country is needed, and inspiring. I am very much aligned with their organizational efforts and have been a part of civil protests in my past that advocated for diversity. I will ensure that we continue driving towards a truly inclusive community. Everyone deserves a seat at the table when it comes to moving us forward.

 

I believe that honest and effective representation involves being visible and accessible. I hope that members of the NAACP San Antonio chapter understand my commitment and desire to work collaboratively with their delegation to address educational inequities and challenges facing our D2 community.


Following the NAACP meeting, I joined a diverse group marching to preserve the Alamo Plaza. My primary reason for joining the march was to heighten awareness and speak directly in advocating the preservation of the Woolworth Building on the corner of Alamo Plaza off Houston Street.

 

The Woolworth Building at the time reflected the values of midcentury America, where segregation between whites and colored was a way of life. In 1960, a peaceful protest was organized at the diner held in the Woolworth building. A sit in by members of Black students demanded a deliberate end to the practice of segregation.

 

In other southern cities, when similar sit ins occurred and similar demands were made, they were met with police violence, beatings, and arrest. However, the outcome was far different in San Antonio. There was no violence and in an instant, the diner was desegregated. It was a shining example of the inclusivity and unification in our City at a time when the national temperament was extremely divisive. 

 

As I addressed the crowd, I stressed the significance of that period in time. It is important to preserve the moment when our city took a significant step in moving closer to ending discrimination and racism. The Woolworth Building now stands as a testament of hope and unity. It would be a travesty to demolish such an important part of our city’s history. The Woolworth building is ground zero of a turning point that moved the transformation of our City. The irony is that I never knew about this significant milestone until this year.

 

This lack of awareness about our past is also why I am a proponent of African American studies and Mexican American Studies programs. They provide a narrative that is not often taught but is so very important to remember. 

 

 

 

If  you have not seen my article on African American Studies, may find it here.

 


 

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