West Texas Talk:
Collecting Oral Histories of Marfa’s Blackwell School

The historic Blackwell School served as the segregated Hispanic school for children in Marfa from its formation in the late 1800’s until the town’s schools were integrated in 1965.

The school’s history was a focus of the 2015 documentary Children of Giant – about the filming of George Stevens’ classic Texas film, but also about racial tensions in small town West Texas during the 1950’s.

Since it closed, the school has been the site of a small museum managed by the Blackwell School Alliance (BSA), a group dedicated to preserving memories of the school and the sometimes troubling history of race relations in Marfa.

Now, there’s a new effort to preserve the memories of people who attended the school.

Marfa Repetición, a project of the BSA and Humanities Texas, is working to collect and record oral histories of the school and its era from Marfa residents.

We spoke with two people behind the project – Project Director Lisa Bateman and Marfa resident and BSA volunteer Richard Williams.

Volunteers will be on hand to record these stories every day from 12 – 6 PM through September 6 at the historic Blackwell School at 501 S. Abbott St. in Marfa. More info at 432-386-5727 or at marfa.listens@gmail.com

About Travis Bubenik

All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter
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West Texas Talk is broadcast Thursdays at 6:00 PM and Fridays at 9:00 PM.
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