WTS still racially segregated as early as July 15, 1955

by Elsewhere 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere


    White flight led to swimming pool's integration

    Dallas: Bombings couldn't stop changes in Exline Park area

    08:32 AM CST on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    By MICHAEL E. YOUNG / The Dallas Morning News

    The walls of segregation came crashing down across Dallas in the 1950s, and perhaps nowhere more than in the Exline Park area south of Fair Park.

    From the beginning of 1950 to the middle of 1951, 11 separate explosions ripped into buildings around Oakland Avenue – all of them properties recently purchased by black buyers in an area that had been overwhelmingly white.

    On June 24, 1951 – a Sunday – three explosions shook the neighborhood, including one at a rental property purchased a month earlier by businessman C.A. Galloway, who later became Dallas' first black City Council member, and another at a home on Eugene Street, bought a month before by a black family.

    Two months earlier, the two-block stretch of Eugene Street between Central and Waldron avenues had been all white. But two black families moved in one weekend. By Monday, a dozen homes were on the market.

    The Texas Rangers joined Dallas police in investigating the bombings, and a number of arrests were made.

    Two of those arrested said they'd been paid to toss bombs at black homes by the leader of a neighborhood homeowners group, but investigators were never able to prove his involvement.

    In the end, just one man stood trial, and he was found not guilty after a prosecution witness recanted her testimony. The grand jury called to investigate the cases ended its term in frustration.

    "The plot reached into unbelievable places," the jury concluded. "There was evidence that lay and religious and community groups, through misguided leadership, entered an action, perhaps unwittingly, that resulted in violence and destruction."

    But the bombings stopped. And within a couple of years, Exline Park changed from being all white to almost all black, a transformation repeated in many neighborhoods across Dallas.

    So when city parks officials decided to make the formerly whites-only swimming pool at Exline Park the first integrated pool in Dallas, they didn't meet a lot of opposition.

    "They didn't really integrate the pool, because everyone who had lived there had moved out if they could afford to do it," said Donald Payton, a historian of Dallas' black communities. "The white people went off to Forest Lane and another group moved down to south Oak Cliff.

    "And that left Exline just sitting there. So this wasn't really a planned integration move. It was more a sign of white flight."

    Mr. Payton and former City Council member Al Lipscomb each contrasted the integration of the Exline Park pool with the city's actions regarding another public pool in Fair Park.

    "They had this beautiful pool over at Fair Park, and sometimes we'd go over and watch people swimming in it – we couldn't swim in it ourselves," Mr. Lipscomb said. "There was talk of integrating it, but instead of doing that, they decided to fill it in and cover it over instead."

    And even with that one tiny step at Exline, segregation remained solidly entrenched in most aspects of daily life.

    When the Jehovah's Witnesses baptized 470 people on July 15, 1955, in connection with the religious group's Dallas convention, the 435 white members were dunked in the pool at Randall Park. The 35 black members being baptized went to the pool at Exline, The Dallas Morning News reported.

    Three years later, in April 1958, The News wrote about plans to improve and expand facilities at Exline Park.

    "This will provide the same type of major recreation building for South Dallas as the Park Board attempts to offer in other areas," Park Director L.B. Houston said.

    The article noted that the 4.72-acre park at Pine and Latimer streets was "now used almost entirely by Negro citizens."

    E-mail [email protected]

  • stillajwexelder

    And here was me thinking the scriptures say all are equal in Gods eyes

  • undercover

    The WTS likes to say that all the members are a truly united brotherhood and while they did nothing to promote segregation they didn't really lead the way to end segregation. They went along with the status quo for the most part. As civil rights started to take hold, the WTS moved to desegregate as quickly as possible.

    I wouldn't condemn them necessarily, but I definitely wouldn't praise them as championing the cause of civil rights either.

  • sir82

    Somewhere in this board there is a cut-n-paste of a Questions From Readers in the 50's, where the WT writers defend the practice of segregation in the congregations. Blondie or whoever has access to WT-CD acn probably find it easily.

    I believe some congregations were still segregated in the 60's, perhaps even the early 70's in the deep South of the USA

  • rebel8

    Here are some quotes from a brochure I'll be putting on my web site soon:

    “…the white race exhibits some qualities of superiority over any other …” -- Watchtower 7/15/1902

    "… the greater intelligence and aptitude of the Caucasian … this was evidently … under divine control. … co-mingling of the various tribes … would not equally brighten their intellects …"Watchtower 7/15/1902

    "… reading matter distributed to a colored congregation would … be utterly wasted..."--Watchtower 4/15/1900

  • MsMcDucket
    "… reading matter distributed to a colored congregation would … be utterly wasted..."--Watchtower 4/15/1900

    Gosh! I wish that was true! Well, now it is (for me). I don't won't anything to do with that filthy literature!

  • greendawn

    That's the FDS Russell showing how much he was chosen and inspired by God to reveal his truth to the world.

  • Kenneson
  • Kenneson


    You will find the Question from Readers in the Feb. 1, 1952 Watchtower at


    It's the last one.

  • Elsewhere

    By Jan 1955 the WTS was already condemning segregation, but obviously the south was not paying attention!


    Watchtower 1955 1/1 p. 17 par. 2 ‘Consider One Another, Trusting in Jehovah’ ***

    but those who have been carefully taught according to this old world’s untheocratic theories prefer segregation, class distinction, the caste system.

Share this