James Lee Dickey: An Analysis of One African-American's Leadership in Jim Crow Texas

The Bridge

By 1945, James Jr. had started his education at Blackshear School. Over time, the school’s attendance rate had grown and each year witnessed an impoved graduation rate. The students demonstrated true grit because getting to school created a challenge for many. Several creeks zigzag through Taylor and black children had to either walk across a trestle train bridge or a fallen log to cross Brushy Creek on the way to school. The good doctor had pumped many stomachs of children that had plummeted into the creek when water was high, perhaps even his own son’s. Dr. Dickey and the Negro Chamber of Commerce combined efforts to convince the city council of the wisdom of putting a footbridge across Brushy Creek. The City complied and an iron and concrete bridge connected the more populated area of south Taylor to the school.

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