Historical Marker Unveiled At Dyess Elementary
This morning Dyess Elementary School students unveiled a Historical Marker on campus that commemorates the date the school was integrated. Students, Administrators, Military Personnel, and members of the Dyess Air Force Base African American Heritage Committee were on site to witness the event. Betty Jones was one of the 38 African American students to attend the school after its integration in 1963.
“Our mothers had, black mothers, had written a letter wanting to know why we had to go to Woodson when this school was like right down the street,” Jones said.
Woodson was a segregated school across town from Dyess Elementary. After seeing the diversity of students attending Dyess Elementary today, Jones became emotional.
“A child doesn’t know prejudice, a child just knows, I had good friends here and I came to school with my friends,” Jones said.
Though Dyess Elementary was the first school in the Abilene Independent School District to integrate, the change came nine years after the Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional. Complete desegregation of Abilene schools wasn’t achieved until 16 years after that ruling.