Thelma White Carmack: Helped Cross the Lines of Segregation in Schools

0 Posted by - October 14, 2021 - BLACK WOMEN, History, LATEST POSTS

Thelma White Carmack was an African American civil rights activist who helped break segregation in schools.

Camack was born in 1936 and was raised in El Paso, Texas. She was the class valedictorian at Douglass High School for the 1954 graduating class, the same year of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

White attended the New Mexico A&M College in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She had applied to Texas Western College but was denied because of her race. After Camack attempted to enter Texas Western College, the NAACP selected her as part of their ongoing work to get schools around the nation to honor the decision.

Months later, the University of Texas Board of Regents responded by accepting Black students. In 1955, twelve black students enrolled at Texas Western College, but Carmack was not among them. She had grown to love her friends at New Mexico A & M and worried about the possibility of being retaliated against because of the lawsuit. She left school after another year and married. Carmack found work at the White Sands Missile Range until her health began to fade. She died on August 9, 1985.



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