This Day in Texas History – Black Students Attempt to Enroll in White School
This Day in Texas History
September 4th, 1950 — Black students attempt to enroll in white school
On this day in 1950, students from the black community of Mosier Valley mounted a notable challenge to Texas segregation laws by attempting to enroll in the all-white Euless school.
Mosier Valley, in Tarrant County, was founded by freed slaves in the 1870s. Black students attended the Mosier Valley school, part of the Euless school district. In August 1949 Euless school superintendent O. B. Powell attempted to transfer forty-six local black students to “colored” schools in Fort Worth, since busing them would be cheaper than maintaining the ramshackle Mosier Valley facility. Mosier Valley parents, with help from the NAACP, had the district enjoined. U.S. District Judge Joe Dooley observed in 1950 that Texas laws granted students the right to be educated in their own districts and that a district’s schools were supposed to be funded on an equal basis. On September 4, Mosier Valley parents and 35 grade-school students entered the Euless school and tried to enroll. A crowd of some 150 whites gathered outside, harassed photographers, and jeered as the blacks later filed out. Powell had informed the blacks that state segregation laws took precedence over other education laws. Segregation lingered, served by a new Mosier Valley school (1953-68), but under federal duress in 1968 the Mosier Valley school closed and the Euless district was fully integrated.