THOSE WERE THE DAYS

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This is Sam Houston Elementary School

Denison TX

Grades K-6

It is on the corner of W. Morgan St. and Tone Avenue

It was there when I was in elementary school.

It is still there.

The building looks the same as it did when I was in elementary school

The building below housed Walton Elementary School

Denison TX

Grades K-6

It is on the corner of West Chestnut and Tone Avenue

It is still there

The building looks the same as it did when I was in elementary school

It is now a personal residence

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When I was in elementary school, second & third grade, my family lived on West Nelson Street and Tone Avenue

Right across the street from Sam Houston Elementary School

I could see the playground of Sam Houston from my front yard

Walton Elementary School was two blocks away from where I lived

Two long country blocks away

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If you have noted the size discrepancy between the two schools

There is a reason for that difference

But, maybe you have asked yourself, “Why were there two elementary schools within two blocks?”

Well, the student population for Sam Houston was much larger

The student population was different

From the population that attended Walton

They were Caucasian

We were Negro

Granted, the Negro population on that side of town was really small

So Walton could accommodate that small number

Of Us

And two teachers

Yeah

The Walton numbers could have also fit comfortably into the student population of Sam Houston

And therein lies the real difference

SEPARATE BUT EQUAL?

Plessy v. Ferguson 1896: The Plessy decision set the precedent that “separate” facilities for blacks and whites were constitutional as long as they were “equal.” The “separate but equal” doctrine was quickly extended to cover many areas of public life, such as restaurants, theaters, restrooms, and public schools. The doctrine was a fiction, as facilities for blacks were always inferior to those for whites. Not until 1954, in the equally important Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, would the “separate but equal” doctrine be struck down.

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