The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is raising memories of what Texoma was like before and during the civil rights movement.
Dr. King Jr. was key for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which forbid racial discrimination in employment and education and removed racial discrimination in public facilities. But before it was passed, the Rev. Angus Thompson of New Jerusalem Baptist Church said he experienced racism during his time at what is now Midwestern State in the late 1950s.
“Of course we had the strains of it and I can recall when I was a student at Midwestern riding the bus and the driver, of course, he would look at me and give the sign it’s time to move to the back and I would ignore him. I would refuse to move,” the Rev. Thompson said.
During tough times, the Rev. Thompson said he let love lead the way.
“If we love Jesus we can love our brother, we can love ourselves. But if you can’t love yourself, you surely can’t love anybody else,” the Rev. Thompson said.
In the five decades since the Civil Rights movement, Rev. Thompson is happy to have seen progress in Wichita Falls.
“When I came to Wichita Falls they had no blacks on the city council. I’ve had a chance to sit on the city council. I served for 12 years. I served as Mayor Pro Tem. Arthur B. Williams served on the city council. Aubrey Wilson was the first black man that was appointed to the city council in Wichita Falls,” the Rev. Thompson said.
The Rev. Thompson believes there is still a long way to go, but getting the message out has had a huge impact all because one man had a dream
If you’d like to show your support to Dr. King Jr., MSU Texas is hosting dream week, starting on Jan. 22, with a unity walk and wreath-laying ceremony at Sunwatcher Plaza. For more information, click here.