Texarkana College is a community college. Texarkana College is located on 2500 N. Robison Rd., Texarkana, Texas. Texarkana College became a centerpiece in the fight for integration of African Americans. After several reversed attempts to integrate African Americans, Texarkana College officially integrated African Americans in 1963.
Texarkana College, formerly known as
Texarkana Junior College, was founded as a public junior college. Dr. Henry W.
Stillwell served as president of the college and superintendent of schools
during this time. Texarkana College became prominently known as a central part
of the fight for integration of African American students.
The NAACP launched a series of legal
battles specifically targeting college segregation. These culminated in two
lawsuits against Texarkana College: Bruce v. Stillwell (1953)
and Whitmore v. Stillwell (1955). The Court of Appeals
for the Fifth Circuit ordered the students be admitted entry into the school and the
refusal of students based on race or color is unlawful.
On September 6, 1956, Stillwell gave
a speech as a keynote speaker at a Citizens Council meeting. Stillwell claimed
it was the crowd's duty to resist the integration of African Americans into
Texarkana College, and that doing so would only lower the school's educational
The newly enraged crowd gathered on
September 10, 1956 to protest against two African American students entering
Texarkana College. The two students, Steven Poster and Jessalyn Gray, were
attempting to register for classes. However, Poster and Gray were faced with an
angry mob carrying placards with racial epithets. The crowd began throwing
rocks at Poster and Gray, and one of the crowd members kicked Poster.
Eventually, both Poster and Gray drove away in a taxicab.
Texarkana College remained
segregated for seven more years. Texarkana College finally opened its doors to
African American students in 1963, A crowd of 200 people showed up to protest
the admittance of these African American students. However, their protests
were unsuccessful, and Texarkana College was officially integrated. Texarkana
College remains as both a cultural landmark of the African American struggle
for equality and a community college where people of all races are accepted.