Race Relations in Texas in the 1980’s

We had been in Nigeria, and then we went to Texas. We first spent time in Granbury, Texas. In Granbury, there was a huge church of Christ across the street from the high school. I have come to learn that at the time it may have been the largest church of Christ in the United States. The town was growing and full of life! My dad was working at a power plant there as a journeyman electrician, and he got my husband a job working with him again. I made lots of friends at that church. They were white, black, and Mexican. Everyone mixed together. We were all friends. There was a special Mexican ministry for the Mexicans who couldn’t speak English. I worked on the Mexican ministry. I attended the Bible classes that were taught in Spanish. I also taught a special English class for the Mexicans who were having trouble with English. I team taught with a girl from Mexico. She and I got together outside of class and taught one another. She taught me Spanish, and I taught her English. She also gave me cooking lessons, and you can see many of the things she taught me on my blog. My hair and eyes are dark, so many people mistook me for Mexican, but I have no Mexican blood at all. I really enjoyed my time there. However, it didn’t last because my husband was offered a preaching job at Huckabay, Texas, and we moved to Huckabay, outside of Stephenville.

A Mexican sombrero…In Texas, there are many Mexicans, not just black and whites.

In Huckabay, I didn’t see any blacks. I only saw whites and Mexicans. There was a Mexican lady who couldn’t speak English who came by our house sometimes selling tamales, and they were delicious! I always bought some. I taught English at Huckabay Junior High School and High School. The school was so small that everyone used the same building from elementary school to high school. I had Mexican students in my classes. The Mexican students tried to take over my classroom at lunch time. They found out I spoke Spanish and wanted to come and sit and talk to me at lunch time, and I enjoyed it. However, when they decided to bar anyone who wasn’t Mexican from joining us, I had to stop them. All the students were welcome in my classroom for lunch. Usually, they all got along just fine.

After Huckabay, my husband wanted to go to graduate school, so we moved to Abilene, Texas. When we were looking for a house to buy, we found a beautiful big house for an extremely cheap price. We knew it was in a Mexican neighborhood, but we didn’t care. However, when we learned that the electricity was in such a mess it might cause a fire and that the evening before we saw the house, there had been a big knife fight in the street in front of the house, we decided we had better keep looking.

Our neighborhood had lots of trees for Texas. Every kid in that neighborhood enjoyed our trampoline, and our yard was often full of kids. Before they could jump on our trampoline, though, we took a precaution. The kids had to have a permission slip to jump on our trampoline because we knew that if they jumped without their parent’s permission and got hurt, we could be held legally responsible.

We found a house on the other side of town that was a little more expensive, but had a very kid friendly neighborhood. It was not the most expensive neighborhood by far, but it was nice enough. All the houses were in good repair with nice yards. There were trees, and in Texas, that is important. There were good schools. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood, and the kids in the neighborhood all played together, except for the kids of one family. We had two kids at the time who were old enough to go outside and play with the others, so it was nice they had other kids to play with. The girl next door had a play house they played in. We had a trampoline they all jumped on. The kids up and down the street just had fun together. There were both blacks and whites on that street, and they all played together except for the kids of one black family. They weren’t allowed to play with the others.

Yes, I have a tendency to begin Bible classes everywhere I go. If I come to your neighborhood, I would start one there too.///Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I did what I always do, and I opened up a Bible study at my house for anyone who wanted to come a study with me. In Huckabay, it was the junior high and high school kids who liked studying the Bible with me. In Japan, it was the girls from my boarding house. In Romania, I taught children at church and translated for the private Bible studies in people’s homes. Here in Korea, initially, I was asked to teach an adult Bible class at the Presbyterian church, and they showed up in force, and when I moved to Seoul, it became the college age students, and then there was a class with college administrators and professors who had me teaching them, and currently, I teach Bible to a group of young people who have graduated from college, but still want to study Bible with me. In Abilene, it was the ladies in my neighborhood. I got to know the other ladies. Sometimes some of us took walks together. We had a really nice neighborhood camaraderie going on except for one family. That one black family would have nothing to do with the other black family because the other black family hung out with the rest of us. The black lady who hung out with the rest of us was a Christian. She attended the Pentecostal church and was a student at Abilene Christian University, a school run by the church of Christ. She loved God and his ways. The other black family didn’t like her nor did they like the white people on the street. They wouldn’t let their kids play with the kids of the other black family. We were all puzzled as to their bad attitude toward the rest of us. I am a member of the church of Christ, and the other ladies who we hung out with were Baptist, Pentecostal, and the church of Christ. Some of the ladies had stopped going to church, but went to church when we formed our little group of friends because they were encouraged by what we did. We just all read the Bible together, took walks together, let our kids play together, and had a good time together.

A police car was parked down the street and they arrested someone in the house where the people didn’t want anything to do with the rest of us.

One day, we finally figured out why that one family had such a bad attitude. There were police cars down there. Someone was being arrested. A pusher lived in the home. A pusher is someone who sells illegal drugs. Had it not been for the drugs, they may have had a different attitude toward the rest of us. They had been really hard on the black lady who was a Christian and lived next door to them. When they were arrested, we understood what the problem was. As I have said before, often the color of the skin is not the real problem, but there are other problems underneath, and they try to use prejudice as an excuse. They wanted to hide from the rest of us because they didn’t want anyone know they were doing something illegal.

When people support President Trump’s wall, they are not supporting a bad relationship between America and Mexico. They are supporting keeping drugs and violence out of the America.Mexico, currently, has a big problem with drugs and violent gangs. The drugs and violent gangs have a tendency to spill over into America, and America doesn’t want it.

As you can see, as I have said before, Christianity makes a big difference in race relations. In the big church in Granbury, the blacks, the whites, and the Mexicans were all together enjoying being together. In Abilene, there were big churches too where there were people of many different backgrounds together. I attended a class at church for a while taught by a Mexican elder. They also had all Spanish speaking churches in Abilene. They were only separated because of language. I also attended a Spanish Bible class at the big church I attended where everyone was together there in Abilene. When people’s hearts are right, they are not separated. Now a days, Trump is wanting to build a wall to keep the people from coming up through Mexico into Texas illegally. These people are bringing drugs and violence into America. If they didn’t and came legally, I know America would be more accepting of them.

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