The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

The African American Community, Album 1

Daughters of Iris with members of the Second Baptist Church

The Daughters of Iris, Oro Temple No. 9 is shown together with members of the Second Baptist Church on Virginia Street. The Daughters of Iris began nationally in 1901 and espoused principles of patriotism, loyalty, and faithfulness. They served their community through acts of charity. Location was El Paso, Texas.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-2-13-1.jpg.

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March is Women's History Month annually in the USA. Grateful to the members of this group of women for their service to their church and our community.

Blanche Bonner and Soldier - El Paso, Texas circa 1915

Blanche Bonner and a soldier are posing for the camera. During World War I, about 370,000 African Americans entered the service in 1917, when the United States joined the conflict. More than half of the blacks fought with the French in the worst battles of the war. 107 soldiers received one of the highest French awards, the Croix de Guerre, from the French government.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-14-2.jpg.

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March is Women's History Month.

Family Chandler

The photograph from the 1940s shows Rose, George, and the baby Gerolyn Chandler. George served in World War II and returned to El Paso after the war. He taught English and choir at Douglass School. Douglass School was the only school blacks could attend in El Paso until the mid-1950s.

Area: Central / Chamizal

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-7-2.jpg.

Uploaded by: UTEP Library Special Collections

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McCall Day Center board

The image shows the McCall Day Center board in the 1940s. Amongst others, Sadie Collins and Anita Bush are in the first row. In the third row are: Dr. Collins, William Davis, Reverend Crenshaw, Immanuel Campbell, Reverend Dale, and the principal of Douglass School, Honesbury. The McCall Neighborhood Center was the home of Marshall McCall and Olalee McCall. Marshall McCall was the first black mail carrier in El Paso. His wife was an English teacher at Douglass School, the only school for blacks in El Paso until 1956. In 1937, she became the first female high-school principal in the El Paso Independent School District. The McCalls built their home at 3231 East Wyoming Avenue out of stone and rock. The sturdy structure and property was purchased in 1985 by the city, and it became the McCall Neighborhood Center. The building has been expanded and is home to a historical marker for Henry O. Flipper and Dr. Lawrence Nixon. It also has a historical Buffalo Soldiers exhibit, a Douglass School room, a library full of African-American history books and a variety of displays chronicling the history of the African-American community in El Paso. The historic building is the community center of the African American community.

Area: Central / Five Points

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-2-18-6.jpg.

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Aldrige couple in cart

Ernie and Mary Aldridge used this horse-drawn cart to take a ride around town in the 1940s. While automobiles sped through the streets of El Paso at that time, the horse-and-buggy hailed back to previous decades when the pace was slower.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-2-3.jpg.

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Eugene Ford Receiving Retirement - El Paso, Texas

The scene shows Leona Washington's father, Eugene Ford (in suit and tie), receiving his retirement award from the Southern Pacific Railroad for his long service as a blacksmith. The Southern Pacific station was located on Franklin Street, between Stanton and Kansas Streets, before the Union Station was built in 1904. Many African Americans arrived because of the railroad, which came to El Paso in 1881. They found jobs as porters, cooks, and maintenance workers. Leona Ford Washington (1928-2007) was teacher, community activist, newspaper publisher, and founder of the McCall Neighborhood Center in El Paso. She grew up in El Segundo Barrio and attended Douglass School, the only school blacks could attend until 1956. Leona received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Prairie View A&M College (now Prairie View A&M University) and after, taught first in Las Cruces and then in El Paso. She married James Washington and had a son (who died in infancy) and a daughter, but the marriage was dissolved. Mrs. Washington taught for thirty-nine years in the El Paso Independent School District, initially at the segregated Douglass School and subsequently retiring from Alta Vista Elementary School in 1989. She was fluent in Spanish and particularly knowledgeable about the histories of the Mexican-American and Native-American communities of El Paso. Throughout the years, many El Pasoans sought her advice in improving the city and race relations. She was very active in El Paso's black community and supported the Second Baptist Church. Washington was engaged with the Martin Luther King Committee, the annual Miss Black El Paso Southwest Scholarship Pageant, the Phillis Wheatley Chapter of El Paso, the NAACP, the El Paso Community Foundation Advisory Board, the Arts and Resources Board of El Paso, and the Planned Parenthood Board of El Paso. She is especially well known for the founding of the non-profit McCall Neighborhood Center, established in 1983 and named in honor of the famed Douglass High School Teacher Olalee McCall and her husband, Marshall McCall, who served as the city’s first African-American mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. Washington also wrote and edited "The Good Neighbor Interpreter" newspaper (formerly known as the "Southwest Torch"), which focused on the history of the black community. For her engagement, Leona Washington gained numerous awards. During the 1980s Washington composed a song on El Paso, “The City of El Paso,” which Mayor Jonathan Rogers adopted as the city’s official song, Many El Pasoans not only credit her for building up the black community in El Paso but also for establishing good relationships with other groups—Anglos, Mexican and Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.

Area: Central / Downtown

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-15-1.jpg.

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Class of Douglass School in 1912

The image shows students of the class of 1912 and their teachers in front of Douglass School in El Paso, Texas, in their Sunday best. At that time, African Americans were building a strong community despite city turmoil (the Mexican Revolution brought several fractions of Mexican revolutionaries to El Paso). However, African Americans established several churches and the Douglass student body increased. Douglass School was organized by black families in 1883. It added a high school program in the 1890s. In 1920, the School moved to its current location on Eucalyptus Street. The school became both a place to learn and a social center for black families until El Paso public schools were desegregated in 1956. The School was named after Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), who escaped slavery and devoted his life to the abolition movement and black rights in the United States.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-11-2.jpg.

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Douglass School in El Paso was at Fourth and Kansas St. in historic neighborhood of Segundo Barrio.

Olalee Mc Call was a teacher and then principal of this historic school in El Paso TX. More images of the school and a historic marker located in the Segundo Barrio of El Paso TX.

M.B. Aldridge

The image shows M.B. Aldridge in suit, hat and fur in the 1930s.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-5-1.jpg.

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March is Women's History Month. Leona Washington was an El Pasoan who preserved much El Paso History. I salute her legacy.

Leona Ford Washington

Leona Ford Washington (1928-2007) was teacher, community activist, newspaper publisher, and founder of the McCall Neighborhood Center in El Paso. She grew up in El Segundo Barrio and attended Douglass School, the only school blacks could attend until 1956. Leona received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Prairie View A&M College (now Prairie View A&M University) and after, taught first in Las Cruces and then in El Paso. She married James Washington and had a son (who died in infancy) and a daughter, but the marriage was dissolved. Mrs. Washington taught for thirty-nine years in the El Paso Independent School District, initially at the segregated Douglass School and subsequently retiring from Alta Vista Elementary School in 1989. She was fluent in Spanish and particularly knowledgeable about the histories of the Mexican-American and Native-American communities of El Paso. Throughout the years, many El Pasoans sought her advice in improving the city and race relations. She was very active in El Paso's black community and supported the Second Baptist Church. Washington was engaged with the Martin Luther King Committee, the annual Miss Black El Paso Southwest Scholarship Pageant, the Phillis Wheatley Chapter of El Paso, the NAACP, the El Paso Community Foundation Advisory Board, the Arts and Resources Board of El Paso, and the Planned Parenthood Board of El Paso. She is especially well known for the founding of the non-profit McCall Neighborhood Center, established in 1983 and named in honor of the famed Douglass High School Teacher Olalee McCall and her husband, Marshall McCall, who served as the city’s first African-American mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. She also wrote and edited "The Good Neighbor Interpreter" newspaper (formerly known as the "Southwest Torch"), which focused on the history of the black community. For her engagement, Leona Washington gained numerous awards. During the 1980s Washington composed a song on El Paso, “The City of El Paso,” which Mayor Jonathan Rogers adopted as the city’s official song, Many El Pasoans not only credit her for building up the back community in El Paso but also for establishing good relationships with other groups—Anglos, Mexican and Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033 Leona Washington-leona.jpg.

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I am Leona F. Washington's daughter and she was a phenomenal woman. I founded a non-profit in her honor to continue the community work she so passionately dedicated her life to helping others. www.LFWFoundation.org

March is Women's History Month. Leona set a wonderful for women leaders.

More info available Handbook to Texas online

Teachers in Front of Douglass School - El Paso, Texas

Several teachers, including Blanche Phillips, congregated in front of Douglass School in 1920. Since many African Americans sought the opportunity for education, many black women found teaching to be a wonderful chance to earn a living outside the home. Douglass School was organized by black families in 1883. It added a high school program in the 1890s. In 1920, the School moved to its current location on Eucalyptus Street. The school became both a place to learn and a social center for black families until El Paso public schools were desegregated in 1956. The School was named after Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), who escaped slavery and devoted his life to the abolition movement and black rights in the United States.

Area: Central / Chamizal

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-9-1.jpg.

Uploaded by: UTEP Library Special Collections

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March is Women's History Month.

B.H. and Amelia Aldridge stroll downtown in 1941

B.H. and Amelia Aldridge stroll downtown in this 1941 photograph.

Area: Central / Downtown

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-1-1-3.jpg.

Uploaded by: UTEP Library Special Collections

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Photo taken in El Paso, TX.

Members of the Order of the Eastern Star

Minnie Haywood, Mrs. King Phillips, and Marie Bloodworth (from left to right) were members of the Star of the West Chapter No. 51 of the Order of the Eastern Star. This was a women's organization affiliated with the male Masons. Each chapter hosted two male members, a patron and his assistant. Female membership for this group was contingent on their relationship with a Mason.

Area: Central / South Central

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-2-22-1.jpg.

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March is Women's History Month.

tag women

Haywood is correct spelling

Teachers and Students in front of Douglass School in the 1940s

The image shows Principal Olalee McCall, George Chandler, and Estine Davis posing with their students in front of Douglass School. The School had been organized by black families in 1883. It added a high school program in the 1890s. In 1920, the School moved to its current location on Eucalyptus Street. The school became both a place to learn and a social center for black families until El Paso public schools were desegregated in 1956. The School was named after Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), who escaped slavery and devoted his life to the abolition movement and black rights in the United States. In the 1940s, the number of students had increased to 383. Olalee McCall was an English teacher at Douglass School, before she became the first female high-school principal in the El Paso Independent School District in 1937. The house of the McCall family was purchased by the city in 1985 and became the McCall Neighborhood Center. It now is the community center of the African American community in El Paso. George Chandler served in World War II and returned to El Paso after. He then taught English and choir at Douglass School.

Area: Central / Chamizal

Source: C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso Library. Collection Name: Leona Washington Photograph Collection. Photo ID: PH033-2-1-7.jpg.

Uploaded by: UTEP Library Special Collections

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The El Paso ISD desegregated on Sept. 6, 1955. On that day Douglass School had 207 fewer students (343) than the year before. On that day I met an African-American in my seventh grade class at Houston School for the first time. You might want to correct the date in the figure legend above. See El Paso Times for Sept. 7 1955 for more information.

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