Podcasts / The Miseducation of Dallas County: Desegregation ≠ Integration
Segregation, separate and unequal school systems, are perpetuated not just by superintendents and judges, but by the decisions each of us make. Not just in where we send our kids to school, but where we choose to live, and with whom. That’s how we move beyond simply desegregating, and achieve true integration.

Desegregation Integration Podcast


The Miseducation of Dallas County: Desegregation ≠ Integration

Segregation, separate and unequal school systems, are perpetuated not just by superintendents and judges, but by the decisions each of us make. Not just in where we send our kids to school, but where we choose to live, and with whom. That’s how we move beyond simply desegregating, and achieve true integration.

This show is the product of uncomfortable conversations.

Josh: Well, and I think especially for somebody like me, you’ve mentioned a couple times, like, these scars-

Mollie Belt: They’re permanent.

Josh: -that someone like me, I would not be able to see, necessarily, I would not know unless I had the opportunity to ask these questions.

Mrs. Belt: And a lot of people won’t tell you about them.

Josh: And so people won’t talk about them for very good reasons-

Mrs. Belt: It hurts.

Josh: -because those are still very deep, hurtful things, but at the same time, in order for my generation to really have the respect for that experience that we need to-

Mrs. Belt: You need to know about it.

We think so too.  But know that it might hurt.

September, 5th, 1961.  6:30pm. Channel 4. (1)

Were you to stick around after the six o’clock news on that Tuesday evening, you’d be in for a unique cinematic experience.

People are born in Dallas.  The years that follow are filled with happiness, and sadness.  

A film called “Dallas at the Crossroads” was making its television debut, after weeks of being toured around to every civic club and institution in the city. (2)

This is your city, Dallas!  Dallas is a man-made town, and each man can find here an opportunity to make his life whatever he wants!  We call our town Big D, because it is big-hearted, open-handed, both friendly and progressive!

Images of a bustling cityscape and beautiful, young, Anglo families give way to older, white men waxing poetic on the history of their town.  But soon a sense of dread creeps into the frame.

With the passage of time, the faces of cities, like the faces of people, change. Change is not always easy.  As we change the face of Dallas, it is our responsibility to see that it is changed for the better. For what we have created, we can also destroy.

We are suddenly transported to startling scenes of violence and hatred.  The screen reads, “Little Rock,” and later, “New Orleans,” as angry white mobs spew vitriol outside of school buildings.  But what does this have to do with what we were just watching?

Once a decision has been made, it is the law.  On April 6th of this year, the federal court decision became final that some degree of desegregation must by law begin in Dallas in the schools this fall.  In spite of arguments, in spite of criticisms, in spite of personalities, the law is the law. Disagreement or dissatisfaction with any law should not, and it must not, be express by citizens in violence.  In a democracy, there are always legal channels open to those who would prefer to change the law. These are the methods which a good citizen uses, not bricks, bats, and stones.

That’s Judge Julien Hyer, getting to the point of this strange, psuedo-documentary. At the time, Dallas was the largest city in the country to avoid school integration, but that would all change the following morning when classes began. The Dallas Citizens Council, an extra-governmental organization of wealthy businessmen, had decided that the kind of protests that had plagued other southern cities would hurt their economic interests.  And so they hired ad executive Sam Bloom to produce, and legendary newsman Walter Cronkite to narrate. (3)

On these principles, Dallas stands.  On these principles, the leadership of Dallas is firm.  Through the Bar Association, the Medical Society, the Council of Churches, the Labor Council, from its elected officials and its newspapers, Dallas has found many voices, but with a single message.

Unsurprisingly, none of those voices belonged to the people of color calling for integration to occur.  In fact, not a single black or brown face appears in the entire episode. Even the word “integration,” was deliberately avoided, in favor of a single use of the term “desegregation,” seen as less threatening to the existing power structure. (4)

Violence not only disrupts business and education, but undermines the health and morale fiber of all citizens. Every citizen has the privilege to live his life according to his own views, as long as he lives within the law. The wise parent prepares his child to accept and adjust to the changed school situation, and at the same time, establishes for his child values for private relationship.  The person who resorts to violence is bad! He will be arrested as a law breaker. He will be deprived of the support and following of his neighbors. He will stand alone!

That’s former mayor, former Klansman, and founder of the Dallas Citizens Council RL Thornton.  In one respect, Thornton and his organization’s endeavour was a failure. Civil unrest did occur: a bomb threat was made at one school, an effigy was hung from a flagpole at another. One young man attempted to burn a cross at a third campus. (5)

But peaceful integration was never really the intention of this massive public relations campaign.  It was, instead, the perception of peaceful integration, conveyed through carefully monitored newspaper editorials, overwhelming police presence, and, of course, a movie, meant to reassure an anxious city that: (6)

The changing face of Dallas will remain unscarred.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for-

All this, because the next morning, white elementary students at eight select schools would be joined by eighteen African Americans, all of whom were six years old. (7)

I’m Joshua Kumler, and this is the Miseducation of Dallas County, powered by Commit.

Mrs. Belt: And I don’t know, what is it he wants me to talk about?  I can talk about a whole lot of things.

This is Mollie Belt, editor-in-chief of the Dallas Examiner.  She graduated from Lincoln High School in the Dallas Independent School District seven years after the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision… and several months before Dallas schools desegregated.

Mrs. Belt: When I say we got a good education, in spite of the fact that we had hand-me-down textbooks, textbooks that were outdated, and did not have the same lab equipment and stuff that the students had, but we had excellent teachers.

Ironically, Mollie and her classmates in segregated Dallas schools benefited from the discrimination of the day, which kept African Americans out of other forms of employment.

Mrs. Belt: I had some of the best teachers because they didn’t have a lot of places they could go to work, so you can just imagine the kind of math teachers I had, the kind of chemistry teachers I had. Basically if you were a college graduate and you were black then, you taught school or you worked in the school system.

This was true even of Belt’s own mother, a math teacher at Madison who wanted nothing more than to be an actuary for insurance companies.

Mrs. Belt: That’s what she wanted to do, but they weren’t hiring blacks then to do that, because most of the teachers had never been to a white institution.  So they basically were preparing us to live in a world that they had not lived in. They were anticipating something, you know?

William H Stanley: There was some stirring that blacks would attempt to enroll in the schools. The superintendent instructed us that they would not be permitted to enroll. (8)

This is from the oral history of William H Stanley, Principal of Zan Wesley Holmes Jr Middle School, speaking about the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s order to integrate.

Stanley: When school started, I looked out the window of my office and there was a black man and a child on the steps of the school and they didn’t come in.  So I went out and said ‘How can I help you?’ and he said ‘I want to enroll my boy in school.’ And I explained to them I was not authorized to do that, and I took the information and departed.  Soon after the experience, Thurgood Marshall filed suit.

Marshall filed suit on behalf of 32 black petitioners seeking to integrate Dallas schools in 1954, and then again in 1956 after a second Supreme Court decision known as Brown II. Both suits was quickly dismissed by Judge William Harley Atwell, and just as quickly reversed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Rather than enforce their decision, Atwell retired in 1958. (9) We still have a school named after him today.

Judge William Harley Atwell

Stanley: Of course, from there we showed all deliberate speed. Very, very deliberate. Nothing happened for years.  Attempts were being made and it became apparent to me, and I think to most other people, that desegregation was going to take place.  And I will use the term they used. It wasn’t integration. It was desegregation.

Judge Davidson: National integration by force may not after all integrate the races.

The following is from the opinion of Judge T Whitfield Davidson in the case of Borders v. Rippy, the next suit to be filed by black Dallas parents on behalf of their children.

Davidson: Since most of the whites in the South desire to maintain their racial integrity, they would for that reason alone oppose integration in the schools. Integration has not helped either race. It has retarded the development of every land where it has occurred. The Negro has not been held down and denied opportunities as some mistaken minds have supposed. In this distracting question, who can say that time and patience may not find a better way to amicably adjust the differences? (10)

As it turns out, the Fifth Circuit Court, again, could and did say that time and patience had been exhausted, and Dallas needed to desegregate.  No one was more disappointed than Davidson himself.

Davidson: We are here now faced with the mandate directing us to enter a decree of forcible integration in disregard of the schools' plans and the constitution and laws of Texas. Though we sign the decree as required by the mandate of our higher court, so deeply do we feel the effects upon the future we must let the record show that at least one judge would dissent. (11)

Sadly, the judge’s views were shared by a majority of Dallas’ populace, who voted over 4 to 1 against integrating in a referendum required by Texas law.  A breakdown by precinct demonstrates that it was still clearly favored in the city’s black neighborhoods. (12) But that didn’t keep the Dallas Morning News from publishing headlines like:

Most Texas Negroes Prefer Separate Schools (13)

Finally, after four separate lawsuits, one meaningless election, and the aforementioned media blitz by the Citizen’s Council, the school board enacted what they called the “stair-step plan,” in which the system would be desegregated year-by-year, one grade level at a time.  Even this modest measure wasn’t carried out universally, however. It was only applied to certain schools. (14) And the same went for teachers and staff.

W.T. White: We have no intention of trying to provide mixed faculties in every school in town. There is no need for it. (15)

That’s a direct quote from the superintendent at the time, Dr. Warren Travis White.  We still have a school named after him, too.

Mrs. Belt: When integration occurred in Dallas, when they integrated the schools, see, the supervisors were all white.

This is Mollie Belt, again.

When I say supervisors, the ones who like, they had, you know, supervised all the math teachers in high school, and the social studies teachers... and so when they integrated the schools they took the best teachers- the supervisors knew who were the good teachers, so they took the good teachers and sent them immediately to the white schools. That's how they integrated, they took the best counselors and they sent them to the white schools, because they knew who they were.

Adding to this indignity was the fact that students, in order to transfer to a school in which they were not the majority, had to navigate a labyrinthine bureaucracy and qualify under a set of sixteen factors.  The obvious intention (and outcome) of these requirements was to discourage applicants.

6. The scholastic energy of the pupil

11. The possibility of economic retaliation within the community

15. The morals, conduct, health, and personal standards- (16)

Et cetera.  Five years later, tokenism prevailed, and a majority of students still attended segregated schools.  But key changes were beginning to take place. In 1967, Dr. Emmett Conrad became the first African American elected to the Dallas School Board. (17) The next year, in a clearly related occurrence, Dr. White retired.

Dr. Nolan Estes: When I came to the district, there was- everybody was happy as two bugs in a barrel of chicken mash, they were just… Things were going along well...

That’s White’s replacement, Dr. Nolan Estes, betraying his South Texas roots.

Nolan Estes

There was no need for this new superintendent from the federal government to come in and suggest that we change things. And it was apparent that the school district at that time was still very separate and unequal. This system was reflected at the highest levels, the superintendent and the board, and then of course it permeated the entire school district. [And I never will forget Dr. Conrad had invited the school board to his house. And I just mentioned that to Dr. White one day when I was in his office. He said “What?”  I said, “Yes, the board's meeting over there, and I’m going to meet with them.” And he said “Oh my, you can't do that. You don’t want to go over there.” And I said, well, I explained to him, I thought maybe he misunderstood me. And finally he acquiesced, he said “well, alright,” said, “you can go, but don't take your wife.” That was the mentality from the superintendent on down, and as you know the superintendent had been in the district, superintendent for 23 years, and he had selected all of the assistant superintendents, there must've been seven or eight of them. They all had values that were consistent with that.] So that's what I inherited.

It didn’t take a doctorate and experience as commissioner in the U.S. Office of Education to determine Dallas’ schools were still separate and unequal. (18) One parent, who had to drive his children past a white school in his own neighborhood just to take them out to West Dallas for their classes, had his own thoughts on the matter.

Sam Tasby: I was dissatisfied with this dual system we were living under.

This is Sam Tasby, lead plaintiff in Tasby v. Estes, the suit that officially desegregated Dallas schools.  Unlike the previous lawsuits, which sought to end de jure segregation enforced by law, this one sought to end de facto segregation, perpetuated by existing institutions.  Sam Tasby wanted to end the dual system. (19)

And frankly I saw this one way we might could get some of it unravelled, be able to go where we wanted to go.  There were always restrictions, you know, we had white water fountains, we had to get on the bus, go to the back of the bus and all this kind of stuff. But I felt if we could get the kids to go to school together that’d be one way to unravel our dual system and we could all be accepted as men.

Ed Cloutman: Well, firstly, everything about the district was separate and unequal.

And this is Mr. Tasby’s lawyer, Ed Cloutman.

Ed Cloutman
Ed Cloutman, Sam Tasby's Lawyer

Ed Cloutman: They had good geographers that had malice in their hearts, but they knew how to keep kids separate.  Drawing zones around neighborhoods that were known to be either white, or black and brown, so as to keep the kids separate and were very successful at doing that. Resources followed a lot of that devilment.  They would be vastly different depending on the race of the school.

Dr. Michael Hinojosa: Well I always thought, you know, we always had the oldest and the poorest stuff, you know I do remember that.

This is Dr. Michael Hinojosa, a former student, parent, teacher and coach in the district.  In the immediate aftermath of Tasby and Cloutman’s suit, some of those attendance boundaries began to change, and Hinojosa was right in the middle of those changes.

Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas ISD

Dr. Hinojosa: So now this was August of 1971 and the federal judge said “Dallas, you’ve had 15 years, 16 years, 17 years to do something, you haven't done anything. You’re integrating, immediately.” I was at Adamson, I was a hotshot at Adamson in eighth grade, and all of a sudden we get order that we are all moving, students are moving, teachers are moving, because the district, and the city, and the powers that be had all this opportunity to integrate and they wouldn't do it. So I don't know anything, I’m a kid going on ninth grade and the federal judge blows everything up. So in ninth grade I go to Greiner. I go from high school to middle school.  And so I remember like if it was yesterday. I show up at Greiner, I go up, “coach, coach, I’m your quarterback! I was starting quarterback on the ninth grade team last year, I’m here!” He said “Boy, get out of here.”   He had big old chewing tobacco in his mouth, he spit it out and said “I got three quarterbacks, I don't need you.” At that moment, you know, I had the gangsters say, "Come on, you see what they're doing to you? Come on, join us, we got a spot for you, you can be our captain.” I could've gone either way and I was lucky that I had a lot of personal agency, a lot of kids that were my friends didn't have that personal agency, so they got taken over by the system.]

Dr. Hinojosa was far from the only student to have this kind of challenging experience.  Dallas’ Latinx community was in a uniquely complicated position, and had been for many years.

Dr. Hinojosa: They didn’t know what to do with Latinos, because Hispanic is really a term that was created by the federal government. It was created in 1970 by the census department. Before that we were white. So they didn’t know how to really calculate who we were. So some older Latinos, they had to go to Crozier Tech high school, which is now Dallas High, Unless you are able to sneak into your neighborhood school because you were “white.”

To be clear, there are quotes around that “white.”  Some Hispanics could “pass” while many others went to schools outside of their neighborhood in fear of prejudice and retaliation.  (20) This system was enforced by custom rather than official policy, however, and as such the Dallas School board argued they shouldn’t be considered a separate race. (21) De facto vs. de jure.

Judge William “Mac” Taylor, presiding over the case, ruled that Hispanics were, in fact, a separate ethnic group to be considered in the desegregation plan.  The plan itself closed Crozier Tech, adjusted some attendance boundaries, and most importantly, ordered the busing of 15,000 students, two-thirds of whom lived in the neighborhood of Oak Cliff. (22)

Mollie Belt: We purchased a house in Oak Cliff, I still live in it now, and it was predominately whites around us at the time.

Mrs. Belt, again, describing moving back to Dallas after having left and gotten married.

Of course they had their little yard signs up. They send their kids to St. Elizabeth's School, and to Bishop Dunne, they did not send them to Kimball, to the public schools, to Carpenter. As soon as they sold their homes they moved, north.  It was like white flight. I wish I had taken a picture. You drive down those streets, and it was a for sale sign in every yard. And people were just almost giving houses away, I mean they were not making a lot off of them, just like, “take this up, pay my mortgage.”  [And Camp Wisdom, I don't know if you’re familiar with Camp Wisdom but Camp Wisdom had all kinds of nice restaurants on it, we had Chili's, we had Black Eyed Pea, we had Steak and Ale, you know we had all these restaurants, and as soon as their leases were up, they moved, they closed them.] It was truly a picture of white flight.

To be fair to Mrs. Belt’s former neighbors, there were many factors at play here: The district had spent the past sixteen years in and out of federal court. Kids now had to change schools so they could comply. Middle class families of all races were leaving due to the uncertainty. (23) And some realtors used that uncertainty to their own advantage.

There is a certain amount of blatant racial discrimination in the sale of houses by agents employed by real estate firms.

This is from a 1974 study on Discrimination and Steering Practices by Real Estate Agents in Dallas, carried out by the Greater Dallas Housing Opportunity Center.

Substantial steering is being practiced on unsuspecting clients by real estate agents, who apparently have predetermined that whites would rather live in a predominantly white neighborhood. One agency stressed the excellence of the Richardson School District to a white.  Not only was this not mentioned to the black but she was urged to look at homes in an integrated neighborhood. (24)

Ultimately, though, it was whites who overwhelmingly left the district over the course of the decade. In 1970, whites made up nearly sixty percent of the student body. (25) By 1980 it was only thirty percent.  And the message sent to those left behind was loud and clear.

Mrs. Belt: I was telling them, you know, we could have had a very nice integrated neighborhood, because the people, black people who were moving into Oak Cliff at the time were professionals, educated, had disposable income. But people just moved. They were running, they didn't know us.

Ironically, Judge Taylor’s plan couldn’t be fully implemented for four years because the appeals court was waiting on a decision from the Supreme Court in the case of Millikin v. Bradley, which would have given states the power to integrate between school districts as well as within them.  In a five-four decision, this was deemed unconstitutional. (26) But Justice Marshall may have reflected on his time in Dallas twenty years earlier when he wrote his dissent.

I cannot subscribe to this emasculation of our constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.  Where state-imposed segregation has been demonstrated, it becomes the duty of the State to eliminate root and branch all vestiges of racial discrimination. I perceive no basis justifying school district boundaries as absolute barriers. The rights at issue in this case are too fundamental to be abridged on grounds as superficial as those.  [We deal here with the right of all of our children, whatever their race, to an equal start in life and to an equal opportunity to reach their full potential as citizens. Those children who have been denied that right in the past deserve better than to see fences thrown up to deny them that right in the future.] Unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together. (27)

Justice Thurgood Marshall

Unfortunately, Marshall’s words were powerless to stem the tide of suburban sprawl and its tacit reinforcement of segregation.  Between the Bradley decision and the severity of white flight, the nature of desegregation in Dallas irreversibly changed. (28) Judge Taylor retired, unable to achieve the “confluence of cultures” he had envisioned within the now majority-minority district.  A new community group, called the Black Coalition to Maximize Education emerged in the 80’s to advocate against busing and for a more equitable allocation of resources to community schools. Even if those communities were segregated. (29)

Judge Barefoot Sanders had his name picked from a hat, and spent the next 23 years of his career overseeing the creation of learning centers and magnet schools, meant to address these concerns.  In 2003, he officially declared the Dallas Independent School District had achieved unitary status. (30) But the conversation surrounding equity is far from over.

Dr. Hinojosa: So we've created an office of racial equity, and in this office of racial equity, we’re gonna have quantifiable items.

Dr. Hinojosa again, now speaking in his capacity as superintendent of the Dallas schools.

We've also [been] doing a long-range facilities and technology master plan.  And if one school has this, and this school has this, that doesn’t mean they both do like this, that means we have to fill up this bucket before we go up together. But also, you know, discipline, behavior, over-identification of students, and so their charge is to come up with a quantifiable identification of all the gaps, and then how do we start filling the buckets to level the playing field. Us old-school people got to figure out how to make this thing work until we hand it off to the young people who are gonna be in positions of authority in the future. So I look at things from this lens. I saw from a student- as a student, before and after integration, and then I saw it as teacher, and then as a superintendent I've seen the remnants of it and the history of it, and very few people have been able to be on both ends of this spectrum. And so someone's gotta be the bridge that's been on both sides of that.

As superintendent, Dr. Hinojosa serves as a bridge not just between the past and the present, but also to the city, the business community, and even other school districts in the region.  Because even if the Bradley decision keeps us from desegregating between district lines, we can still learn best practices from the ones working toward equity.

Dr. Jovan Wells: I think Garland ISD is a model for other districts.

This is Dr. Jovan Wells, Associate Superintendent of the Garland Independent School District. Recently, administrators from Dallas were sent to consult with Garland demographer Dr. Marvin Rodin on their own choice school model.  Choice schools in Dallas are like magnet schools, but without the barriers to entry, specifically designed to achieve diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds. But in Garland, every school is a choice school.

In Garland, it doesn’t matter where you live, you get to choose where your children go to school, kids get to choose the programs they like. And you do see, every school is reflective of the entire community, it’s not just kind of one race in the school, so I do think that the deseg order and the choice program is going to be really a model for the nation to follow because it really promotes that equity as well as a district.

A large part of the reason for this policy is the fact Garland is still, voluntarily, under court-ordered desegregation.

Babetta Hemphill: I think they like the accountability that being under the court order gives us.

This is Babetta Hemphill, Executive Director of Student Services and School Choice.

Babetta Hemphill: We also look at our staffing patterns, we look at facilities and there is an entire community group the multiethnic committee that looks at those things and sort of gives the district feedback about where we place things.  When I think about some of the organizations within the community like our NAACP, they are a part of the court order, and they are very supportive, like we have a back-to-school rally and they make sure that all of our kids have school supplies, backpacks, that sort of thing. But then they can also turn a critical lens and, you know, call us out on things that they don't think are going quite right or ask the right question at the right time.

48 years on from the original lawsuit, the Garland NAACP is still asking questions.  Like school districts throughout the country, African-American students in the district are disproportionately receiving suspensions, and plaintiff Ricky McNeal is active in conversations with administrators surrounding this issue. (30)

But GISD is also more integrated by race and class than many other districts in the county.  And, unlike those districts, they are working towards closing the achievement gap between black and white students.

Beatris Martinez: I can tell you at a campus level, our students come to us with so many different backgrounds and so the need, again, and the diversity comes right along with that.

This is Beatris Martinez, a principal in the district, as well as parent and former student.

Beatris Martinez: I do remember at the end of my first grade year when got the notice that we were going to be given the opportunity to explore other campuses and just to kind of, you know, see what else is out there. So it was kind of a little scary adventure as a child. And so even through the changes, I think it has been very powerful as a family to know that you still have, my family, we still had a voice and we still had a choice. So to me as we’re making decisions, not just on a campus level, this is more than a job for me, I can tell you that. This is my community.

It’s an interesting inversion of the desegregation strategies handed down by federal courts for decades in this country: rather than dictate where students will go to school, give them a choice. As it turns out, in Garland at least, they choose diversity.

Garland is smaller than Dallas, though by less than you’d think.  (As Dr. Hinojosa pointed out to me, GISD is bigger than Detroit public schools).  And Garland’s demographics are different than Dallas’, but not by that much. (It’s also a majority-minority district). (32) The biggest difference between the two, then, comes in the form of the choices made in each city.

Segregation, separate and unequal school systems, are perpetuated not just by superintendents and judges, but by the decisions each of us make.  Not just in where we send our kids to school, but where we choose to live, and with whom. That’s how we move beyond simply desegregating, and achieve true integration.

Sam Tasby: I know it ain’t completely changed, but I believe some change has come around.

Again, Sam Tasby.

Sam Tasby: I’d like it to be remembered that I helped somebody. I know I can’t help everybody, but at least I helped somebody have a better chance at life.  That’s my thought, I want to help somebody have a better, more comfortable life. ‘Cause we all want to have a good life. I like to feel that I helped somebody.

Mr. Tasby passed away in 2015, but not before helping thousands of kids have a better life.  Thankfully, we also have a school named after him. (33) Still, unfortunately, he’s not wrong.  Things haven’t completely changed. And a generation of leaders calling for that change didn’t get to live to see it happen.

Today, May 17th, 2018, is the 64th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.  This year, we lost Linda Brown, lead plaintiff on that case. She didn’t get to see us really integrate.

Mrs. Belt: I guess I have scars that will always be there. I will be buried with my scars.

But Mollie Belt might.

Mrs. Belt: What I try to do is do what I can to make this community a better place to live in, and I do it through the paper, I try to educate, to make people aware of issues. The only thing that I can do as an individual is say, “Okay, what do I have control over?” And that's all I can do.

So what can you do?

Dr. Hinojosa: You can get a great education in Dallas, but you gotta be able to look beyond race and class.

The Miseducation of Dallas County is powered by the Commit Partnership and produced by me, Joshua Kumler.  It is executive produced by me, along with John Hill, Kathryn Mikeska, and Rob Shearer. Mixed and mastered by Will Short.  Music by Trevor Yokochi. Voice acting from David Marquis, Adrien Palmer, and Carlee Kumler.  

Special thanks to Mollie Belt and everyone at the Dallas Examiner, Dr. Hinojosa and everyone at DISD central administration, Dr. Wells, Ms. Hemphill, Principal Martinez, and everyone else over at GISD, Ed Cloutman, Sylvia Demarest, Dr. Jasmine Parker, the Allen family, and Dr. Marvin Dulaney, who conducted the oral history interviews of Sam Tasby, Nolan Estes, and Ed Cloutman that you heard today. 

If you want to more about desegregation in Dallas (and believe me, there is a LOT more to the story) you can visit the Dallas public library website and check out “Documenting the Civil Rights Movement in Dallas, TX,” where you can audio files of all the oral history interviews Dr. Dulaney carried out.

This podcast is dedicated to educators everywhere. The future is your hands.  This episode is dedicated to Sam Tasby, Linda Brown, and Mollie’s parents, Fred and Mildred Finch. Maybe WT White could be named for them instead. We’ll be back soon with more Miseducation.

  1. "Dallas Desegregation Topic on Two Programs." Dallas Morning News [Dallas], 2 Sept. 1961.
  2. Brophy, William. "Active Acceptance - Active Containment : The Dallas Story." Southern Businessmen and Desegregation, edited by Elizabeth Jacoway and David R. Colburn, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1982.
  3. Beck, William W., et al. "Identifying School Desegregation Leadership Styles." The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 49, no. 2, Spring 1980.
  4. Roark, Carol. "A Quiet Force: How Sam Bloom Shaped the Public Response to Integration in Dallas." Legacies, Spring 2013.
  5. Carmack, William Ross, and Theodore Freedman. Dallas, Texas: Factors Affecting School Desegregation. New York, Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith.
  6. Willie, Charles V. "In Dallas School Desegregation is a Business Affair." Institutional Racism and Community Competence, edited by Oscar A. Barbarin et al., Rockville, MD, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1981. To quote, “the definition of success for the Dallas Plan appears to be based not so much on what has been accomplished as how it has been accomplished.”
  7. "Leaders See Calm School Integration." Dallas Morning News [Dallas], 2 Sept. 1961.
  8. DISD Desegregation Oral History Collection, (Austin: University of Texas at Austin, Briscoe Center for American History, 2003) Quoted in Parker, Jasmine Danielle. (De)Segregation in Post-Brown Dallas, Texas: A Historical Narrative Attributing the Response and Social Activism Efforts of African American Dallasites, 1950s-1970s. 2015. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PhD dissertation.
  9. Linden, Glenn M. Desegregating Schools in Dallas: Four Decades in the Federal Court. Dallas, Three Forks Press, 1995.
  10. Borders v. Rippy, 184 F. Supp. 402 (N.D. Tex. 1960)

  11. Borders v. Rippy, 195 F. Supp. 732 (N.D. Tex. 1961)

  12. “Tabulation of Returns of Integration Election Held August 6, 1960” Carl Brannin Papers, University of Texas at Arlington
  13. Morehead, Richard M. "Most Texas Negroes Prefer Separate Schools." Dallas Morning News [Dallas], 1 Dec. 1958.
  14. Barta, Carolyn. "Schools Integrate Without Incident." Dallas Morning News [Dallas], 8 Sept. 1966.  According to the article, by 1966, 50,807 students were attending integrated schools as opposed to 88,034 still at single-race schools.
  15. Ibid.
  16. “Enrollment Guidelines for the Districting and Transfer of Pupils,” Adopted by the Dallas School Board of Education April 26, 1961.  Carl Brannin Papers, UTA
  17. Pouncey, Temple. "North Dallas Ballot Gives Conrad Victory Margin." Dallas Times Herald [Dallas], 2 May 1967.
  18. “Documenting the History of the Civil Rights Movement in Dallas County, Texas,” a project co-sponsored by the African American Education Archives & History Program and the African American Museum.
  19. Parker, Jasmine Danielle. (De)Segregation in Post-Brown Dallas, Texas: A Historical Narrative Attributing the Response and Social Activism Efforts of African American Dallasites, 1950s-1970s. 2015. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PhD dissertation.
  20. Davis, Ethelyn Clara. Little Mexico: A Study of Horizontal and Vertical Mobility. 1936. Southern Methodist University, MA thesis.
  21. Havard, Bronson, and Ruth Eyre. "Racial Identity of Latins Argued." Dallas Times Herald [Dallas], 13 July 1971.
  22. “Confluence of Cultures” Desegregation Plan, 23 July 1971. Dallas Independent School District.
  23. Interview with Dr. Michael Hinojosa, 10 April 2018.
  24. “A Study of Discrimination and Steering Practices By Real Estate Agents in Dallas, Texas.” Greater Dallas Housing Opportunity Center. February, 1974.
  25. Webster, William J., and Russell A. Chadbourn. "Desegregation: The Dallas Experience." Dallas Independent School District, TX. Office of Statistics and Ad Hoc Research, Dec. 1981.
  26. McCorkle, Gerald Steward. Desegregation and Busing in the Dallas Independent School District. 2006. University of Texas at Arlington, MA thesis.
  27. Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974), p. 418 U. S. 781

  28. Hula, Richard C. "School Desegregation, White Flight and Housing Values." Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Sept. 1982, Denver.
  29. Schutze, Jim. "Segregation Forever - How Dallas got what it wanted." Dallas Observer [Dallas], 15 May 2003.
  30. Armour, Maureen N. "Remembering Judge Sanders: Judicial Pragmatism in the Court of First and Last Resort." SMU Law Review, vol. 62, 2009.
  31. Meeting of the NAACP Garland Unit #6256. 26 April 2018.
  32. "GISD District Profile." Garland Independent School District,
  33. Hobbs, Tawnell D., and Danielle Grobmeier. "Sam Tasby, man at center of Dallas ISD desegregation case, dies at 93." Dallas Morning News [Dallas], Aug. 2015.
  34. Genzlinger, Neil. "Linda Brown, Symbol of Landmark Desegregation Case, Dies at 75." New York Times [New York City], 26 Mar. 2018.

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