So, looks like the Dallas Independent School District's Board of Trustees meeting tomorrow -- a specially called get-together, as they don't normally meet in July -- should be an especially interesting one. Because only a few hours after we posted the item about Joyce Foreman's displeasure over the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts' being rebranded, or not, as the "Hamon Arts Magnet," KTVT-Channel 11 ran a similar story in which two Booker T. Washington grads -- one of them a member of The Washington-Lincoln Alumni Association of Dallas -- voice their anger over the Arts Magnet's new moniker, for which local philanthropist Nancy Hamon paid $10 million. For those who didn't see Foreman's further comments on the subject, they're after the jump.
The meeting was called so the board could expedite the building of new schools, following the bond election; they're hoping to get architects on board in order to open doors by September 2010. Only, Tawnell Hobbs at The Dallas Morning News points out today something else to be discussed tomorrow. Behind closed doors, the trustees will deal with the civil rights lawsuit brought against the district last week by parents and community leaders who, as Patrick Williams wrote in last week's Observer, cite "instances of older black schools left to rot while new schools are built elsewhere." Only, the way trustee Edwin Flores spoke about the suit yesterday, which he brought up while we were talking about Arts Magnet, it doesn't sound like they're taking it very seriously. Flores mentioned something about it looking "like something written in crayon." --Robert Wilonsky
From Joyce Foreman:
I would oppose any name other than Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts on the school. During segregation, Booker T. Washington was the only "Colored" High School. The name has significant historical value in this community.
I would also oppose changing names of institutions like the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center,Southern Methodist University,Bill J. Priest Center, Earl Cabell Federal Building,or other institutions that have historical value.
It is amazing that some people can not remember that their have been black leaders in this town like Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes, Dr. Mamie McKight, Commer Cottrell, A Maceo Smith, Dr. Robert Prince, Junaita Craft, Mattie Nash, Dr. Harry Robinson, Ann Williams, Rev. Marshall Hodge,Richard Knight, Judge Ron White and others.