Saturday FREE 2nd Annual Black History Tour Begins at Owen Chapel AME Church 423 Delaware 10 am
The 2nd Annual Black History Church Tour is scheduled for this Saturday at 10 am in the Chihuahua District the historic Black/ Mexican/Latin American enclave of Alamogordo
The tour of the traditional historical Black neighborhood of Alamogordo begins at 10:00am at Owen Chapel AME Church 423 Delaware
Meet former students from the historic Dudley School and hear of its renovation. The Dudley School was built in 1914 and had four classrooms. Dudley School was set up as part of a segregation plan at the time and specialized in children that did not speak English being educated in a separate school facility. Hispanics could not go north of 10th Street or into the plaza at the time. The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico with its proximity to Texas was a racially divided city.
Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football. The African American School was called the Delaware School and the school that spoke Spanish only was the Dudley School. Athletes from those schools were segregated from the white schools of the time.
The preservation of the Dudley school will bring pride back to the community as it is being restored to its historic look. Inside will be story boards of both Hispanic and African American children that attended. Stories will include family recollections, teachers' perspectives and historical artifacts of the past. In addition, the building will serve as a community center available to lease to the public and a playground. This restoration project is a volunteer community effort and will bring pride to the Hispanic Community due to its telling of history and as the first historic building to be preserved and recognized for its historical significance to the fabric of Alamogordo’s Hispanic and African American community.
. Stop for brief histories of Corinth Baptist Church. The church building was originally on the corner of 4th and White Sands Boulevard, then Pennsylvania Avenue. The property on which the present church stands was purchased from the school system and the center parts of the building were the remnants of the original Corinth School which was the segregated Black School during Alamogordo's early years.
The Tour also includes New Zion Baptist Church, New Hope Full Gospel Church, New Covenant Worship Center and it ends at Owen Chapel AME for Chili and cornbread lunch. This is a Free Event
According to an article of the 1950’s
According to The Southern School News, Oct 1,1954
“Integration of Negro students into previously all-white schools had been a continuing process in New Mexico from 1948 to the mid-1950s. Problems were not too great; the state's Negro population, about 9,000 amounts to only 1.2 per cent of the entire state population. The communities requiring segregation all are located on New Mexico's East Side, the so-called little Texas, where population centers’ have sprung up from New Mexico's booming oil and livestock industries.”
The article continued, “Alamogordo, a southern New Mexico community of some 8,500 persons, abolished segregation several years ago for the twin reasons of sociological advancement and economic necessity. Supt. Barney Caton expressed his opposition to the principal of segregation, and school board members also agreed that the African American population was not sufficient to warrant maintenance of separate facilities. The transfer was made without incident of closing the Delaware School for Negros and integrating those students in Alamogordo High School and other related schools.”
A look back at the history of Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico, though uncomfortable at times, is a reflection of the advances of civilized society and reflection is important to see how far we have come and to keep perspective of how much further we can go to create a colorblind society that accepts all people and allows equal opportunities for all.
Alamogordo and New Mexico are rich in history and tales of the past and has a vision of prosperity for all looking forward. Only through the study of our past do we truly understand a path to the future.
Join the FREE Black History Tour this Saturday at 10:00am at Owen Chapel AME Church 423 Delaware begin to reflect and to be inspired. Shuttle service to the properties is included for free and a free lunch!
Also check out the free African American Film Series for February and March hosted by the Alamogordo NAACP and Owen Chapel AME Church...