Longform

Ready For Battle

Page 6 of 6

(None of this surprises a former SMU colleague of Glover's, Alphine Jefferson, now working for the College of Worcester in Ohio. Jefferson refers to Dallas' traditional black organizations as the "homegrown Dallas Black Mafia." "They all thought we were handkerchief heads because we worked at SMU," he says. "If you did not do what they said or participate in the things that they did, they would say pretty unkind things about you.")

Hispanics, who constitute the largest minority in the district, are worried about Glover because they fear he may ignore their needs. "A lot of blacks don't know our history and therefore aren't able to articulate for us when issues of diversity come up," says Michael Gonzalez, chairman of Dallas Hispanic Citizens.

Glover brushes aside these concerns. "The issue is not playing to any one agenda. It is to stay in focus," he says. He says it calmly, as though he doesn't know his office chair is actually a powder keg, and that he's perceived as an enigma.

He is called a racist and a reconciler, an activist and an agitator, a preacher and a pawn. Stories drawn from his past can prove or disprove all these labels. In his new leadership role, he will accomplish either much or little. He says that one of the greatest factors in the outcome is that he's "interculturally friendly"--that he plays to no one group or minority and has friends in them all.

The interview over, he is striding down a hallway, headed to a ceremony that will launch the district's Hispanic television show. He greets whomever he passes in the hall, offering them bright, promotional T-shirts hawking the show.

His hand goes out to everyone.

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Kaylois Henry