Monday, March 16, 2009
Henderson Shuffler came to see me. He had been appointed director of the Texas exhibit at Hemisphere in San Antonio in the Sixties and he needed to build a staff in a hurry. There would be 26 different categories. I agreed and accepted the black exhibit plus four others. Money was available and time was short. I went to Dallas and recruited George Washington Jr., the first black man to graduate from the University of Texas law school. Then I went to Austin and talked to Barbara Jordan, who had been elected to the senate of the Texas Legislature. Then I went to Prairie View A&M in Waller County, the black branch of A&M University. It was a time of change in race relations. To give you an example, I was in Dr. E. B. Evans office at Prairie View and asked to use the rest room. He sent for a freshman to escort me to the white restroom on the other side of the campus. After that I just helped myself to the rest room in the administration building. There was opposition from some white groups but on the whole the state was being integrated. The people we chose were what you would call bourgeois, blacks who had a college degree and were either teaching school or practicing law or appearing in public ventures such as sports.