Houston History - Desegregation in the 60s and 70s

I wound up on a deep dive this morning and wound up finding a bunch of footage and coverage from the desegregation efforts in Houston. I didn’t know much about desegregation of Houston beyond “it happened in the 60s-ish, and something about Woolworth’s.”



Very interesting finds. Thanks for sharing.

I’m not a native Houstonian, but have tried educating myself on the history of this unique, odd & continually-evolving city. The proximity between UH & TSU has always befuddled me in terms of aesthetics when I moved into the 3rd Ward, especially the more we begin to separate ourselves in terms of facility upgrades, campus life, and athletic conference affiliation.

Hope to find some of this touched on in these links.



Interesting fact the astrodome was never segregated, but Rice Stadium was.


Rice also started charging tuition at the same time they integrated. Folks over on South Main will tell you that’s a coincidence, but…

I’m a little curious about HBU, and I haven’t been able to find anything. Were they integrated from the jump? It’s plausible, given that they were founded in 1960, but I’d like to confirm that.

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Rice stadium still used to have a stenciled “whites only” that had simply been painted over, in white of course, in the 90s. Somewhere I have a picture of it. I was astonished.

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Yes i saw that on Marvin Zindler. He finally got them to remove it.

Any chance you still have that laying around? I’ve looked for pictures of that sign in particular for a while now.

True about Rice… My microcontrollers prof at UH (2010 I believe) was in the last class of all white, all male students excepted into Rice… His tuition was completely paid… This was in the late 60s.

I know Rice reversed course recently and they pay full tuiition for incoming freshmen whose parents make below a certain income… At the time it started again it was around $85k.

I graduated from Westbury High School in 1987. The Vice Principal when I was there was Mr. Chet Smith. He later went on to be the principal at Yates. He passed away a week or 2 ago. His obituary was fascinating. He took part in the sit-ins at Woolworth.

Those are great articles.

What a different climate we’re in! Reading about the HISD board member that worked at Shell and voted for integration, causing some folks to return their Shell credit cards, only to have Shell say, “He was exercising his right to free speech”…that’s fantastic.

Regardless of a person’s political position, I wish more employers would stand strong on the individual front, as opposed to fearing the potential negative press from employing someone that public sentiment has shifted against.

Yeah, it feels like holding someone’s unpopular opinion that they made outside of work against their employer carries a lot of implications that I’m really, really uncomfortable with. The idea that if someone on the internet can find where you work, you’re representing your employer at all times is deeply unsettling to me.

Of course, I also understand the flip side of it – if a person has publicly expressed the belief that you and people like you are lesser, it’s hard to set that to the side and just trust them to do their job, even if they said it off the clock. And to some extent, things that you do outside of work have always had an impact on your employability. Employers ask about criminal records and test for drugs, and I think it would be far from the consensus to say that they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I just feel like there should be a higher barrier in your private life for something to affect your professional life.