By: Paige Hubbard
It was only 57 years ago when students at Texas Southern University took a stand against racial segregation in their community. In 1960, a group of students came together to organize a peaceful protest to end discrimination and take a pledge for equality.
Marching from their campus to what once was Weingarten Supermarket, the students embarked on the 45 minute walk, aware of the challenge that awaited them. The brave students were insulted to say the least, but this was no match for their tenacity for change.
“Hearing how they treaded us really made me angry, but at the same token, it made me feel proud to be a black and to attend TSU,” said Asia Combs, a Print Journalism major at TSU.
To keep their dream alive almost 60 years later, TSU students made the same walk in remembrance of their efforts and to reflect on what it was like to be black coming up in those times.
“I am fortunate enough to come up in a time where I don’t have to experience the extent of racism my ancestors did, and although we have made progress, we have such a long way to go,” Mark Coleman, an attendee of the march, expressed.
Journalism Professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker helped her students organize the march and urged students to stay enriched in the progression of their culture.
“They came here out of principle. It was out of a commitment to standing up for justice,” Sandifer-Walker added.
The supermarket has now been turned into a post office, however, it has become a historical landmark. Educating the city on its first pioneering civil rights movement, the black and gold plaque stands tall like those students once did on Almeda Street.
These efforts certainly did not go unnoticed, because at the end of that year, most businesses saw their vision and decided to desegregate their establishments. Willing to put their lives on the line and be at the center of abuse and hatred, those students ended segregation in Houston.
Every year around the anniversary of their revolutionary march, students at TSU come together to reenact that bold act of solidarity and bravery, never forgetting the road that was paved for them to receive an education at any institution of their choice.
In closing, I leave you with one of the famous quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr.–
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that; hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”