Black El Pasoans who made history


"Still We Rise: El Paso's Black Experience" is on exhibit at the El Paso Museum of History Saturday through January 13, 2024. (Cindy Ramirez/El Paso Matters)

This list was produced as part of the 2023 High School Journalism Camp at the McCall Center. The center hosted a one-week journalism camp where El Paso high school students publlished a special edition of The Good Neighbor Interpreter, a regional newspaper that McCall Center founder Leona Ford Washington once published with news about the Black community. The El Paso History museum sponsored the camp as part of the city’s 150th anniversary this year.

  • Henry O. Flipper – first Black graduate of West Point
  • Andrew Morelock – organized the first school for African Americans in this part of the country (later became the Douglass School)
  • Mary Webb – organized the first recreation center for African Americans in El Paso
  • Marshall McCall – first African-American United States Postal worker in El Paso
  • Olalee McCall – first African-American Principal, El Paso Independent School District
  • Texas Western 1966 Basketball Team – first all-Black starting line-up to win the NCAA basketball final
  • Jethro Hills – first African American city representative in El Paso.
  • Donald Williams – El Paso’s first African-American Judge
  • Dr. Maceo C. Dailey – first director of the African American studies department at UTEP
  • Ouisa Davis – first Black female judge
  • Greg Allen – first African American police chief of the El Paso Police Department
  • Charles Brown – first African American student athlete to attend Texas Western College (now UTEP)
  • NAACP Branch #6175 – first branch of the NAACP in Texas
  • Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard – first African American post commander of Fort Bliss
  • The Hotel Daniel – only El Paso business listed in every edition of the Green Book while it was published
  • William Milner, Marcellus Fulmore, John English, Mable Butler, Clarence Stevens, Margaret Jackson, and Sandra Campbell – first African American students to attend Texas Western College (now UTEP)
  • John Douglas – first African American lieutenant in the El Paso Police Department
  • Marjorie Lawson – first Black faculty member at Texas Western College (now UTEP) and in the UT system
  • Thelma White ­— the first Black student admitted to an all-white Texas university after she filed a lawsuit in 1955 because she was denied admission to Texas Western University (now UTEP) in El Paso.
  • Dr. Lawrence Nixon — ­­a medical doctor in El Paso who successfully fought state election laws barring Blacks from voting in Democratic Party primaries in Texas.

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