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The Blackwell School, segregation, and burying Latino culture

The Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas.
The Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas.

In October, President Joe Biden signed legislation designating the Blackwell School as a national historic site, permanently protecting the building.

The schoolhouse, located in Marfa, Texas, is where local Hispanic children were sent to learn for the first half of the 20th century, segregated from their white peers.

Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were not subject to Jim Crow laws because they were considered white. However, in the Southwest, they were subject to what became known as Juan Crow laws – a specific type of segregation targeted at Latinos and Hispanics.  

The Blackwell School closed in the 1960s, but segregation is still common for students in America today. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that more than one-third of U.S. students attend a predominately same-race school. The report found segregated schoolshave a direct effect on academic outcomes, with poorer students performing worse.

We learn more about the Blackwell School and its long-lasting effects on the region and students.

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Barb Anguiano