• PAAM Founders Circle

A Tale of Two Communities

Updated: Feb 16

John Lewis recalled an incident in 1968 after he had graduated high school. "When I was out of school, I heard there was going to be a rumble one night between the blacks and the whites. [But] someone interceded or calmer heads prevailed -- I don't know what it was." And that was the end of the problem.


Alton Allman recalled an incident involving African American visitors coming to Plano from Dallas. "Prior to integration, there was a group of black guys that came into town from Dallas. They went to the Harington Pharmacy and went it and demanded service. They were really arrogant and causing trouble. Art, which was the pharmacy owner, told his person working to serve them and then went and called Jim Thomas." Shortly after, Jim Thomas came to the pharmacy and six other members of Plano's African American community came to the pharmacy and told the arrogant visitors to "get the hell out of town and never come back. [Jim] was really well respected on both sides. He came over and ran them out out town." said Allman.


Exhibit Activity & Questions:

  1. Although these two recollections are brief, what does it tell you about the relationship of the two communities during segregation?

  2. During segregation and the Civil Rights era, many communities across the nation (especially in the South) were divided. From John Lewis' story, what kind of environment did Plano have?

  3. During segregation and the Civil Rights era, many communities across the nation (especially in the South) were divided. From Alton Allman's story, what kind of environment did Plano have?

  4. What characteristics does Jim Thomas have in this Alton's story?

  5. From Alton's story, what kind of relationship did the White community have with the Black community considering that the issues were escalated to Jim?



Sources:

Football & Integration In Plano, Texas

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