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Hernandez / Education in Odessa

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Zapata: Where did you go to school? Hernández: In elementary, it was Milam Elementary. It was a few blocks from the house. We use to walk to school and back. Then once I went into junior high, we went to Blackshear. I was there a few months and then something happened and they moved everybody over across Gregg Street to the west side, to Ector High. And that is when we started moving into a different culture. Zapata: So, by that do you mean it was more of a mixed school? Black people, white people, Mexican people? Hernández: Yeah, Blackshear was all Mexicanos and Negritos. That is the way it was. But once they changed what they were doing, built a new high school, or whatever. I cannot remember what happened, but we ended up going to Ector High School. It was mostly a white high school. All the sudden it is all different. A different environment. Everything is different. It is a challenge now. It is a bigger challenge, now. When we were over there at that other school, yeah we fight. We fight with the blacks, and they fight with us. We get along with some and some we don’t, you know, but we all go to the same school. When we changed over to Ector High School it is a different thing. A very different thing. There is more fighting, more racism, teachers would treat you different. It was just a struggle. In those times there were a lot of pachcos, a lot of pachucos. Zapata: Was this in the ‘50s, it was in the ‘60s correct? Hernández: It was probably in the mid ‘60s when I went to Ector high school. Pachucos existed here in the ‘40s, 50’s, ‘60s. Right now they are just, it is more like a fashion thing now. If anybody dresses like a pachuco it is more of a fashion thing, you know. Pero, back then it was a way of life. To me that was the first movimiento.

Interview Interview with Nick Hernandez
Subjects Education › Secondary Education
Education › Education and Integration › Pairing for School Integration
Education › Teachers and Administrators
Tags Milam Elementary School, Odessa, TX
Ector Junior High School, Odessa, TX
Blackshear High School, Odessa, TX
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Interview date 2016-07-08
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Hernandez, Nick
Locations Odessa, TX
Duration 00:02:50
Citation "Education in Odessa," from Nick Hernandez oral history interview with ,  July 08, 2016, Odessa, TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed July 13, 2020