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From Threatened To Celebrated: North Texas Educator June Williams Davis Writing New Chapter In Black History

by Robbie Owens | CBS 11

CROWLEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - As a teenager growing up in East Texas, June Williams Davis has vivid memories of a world not ready to change.

"I can remember growing up in Texarkana... and having colored water fountains and white water fountains," she shares. But change was coming-- whether the community wanted it or not. Her senior year spent not just studying history-- but, making it. Hers was the class that integrated the all white high school.

"Those were some turbulent times, turbulent times," she recalls, saying no one really knew what to expect. "Our teachers tried to prepare us as best they could... but at the same time they wanted us to be prepared and they wanted to ensure that we always did the right thing that we didn't go looking for trouble."

Years later, 'good trouble'-- as the late Congressman John Lewis would call it-- found Davis again. In 2003, she was the first African American elected to the Crowley ISD Board of Trustees: unwittingly becoming a symbol of change, that not everyone supported."

"And this gentleman came up to me, kind of in my face... pounding his fist on the table and telling me it was all my fault," she recalls, explaining that the man was angry that black families were moving into the district. "And that it
was my fault, because I'm black."

Davis later provided a police escort to ensure her safety at meetings. Still, she kept serving and working to support students-- eventually becoming school board president. But, Crowley wasn't done with Davis just yet.

"I fell totally apart, to the point that I couldn't speak," she recalls of the meeting surprise. Her colleagues two years ago recognizing Davis' many years of service by naming a school in her honor.

"I am so humbled by think that... I'm gonna get teary," she admits with watery eyes. "To think people, my fellow board members felt I was worthy of that honor. Yeah."

Davis' life an example of the ordinary, extraordinary courage still writing chapters for the next generation.

"It's kind of surreal. Because, again, you know, I do what I do for the students, and never in my wildest dreams, did I even think anything like that would happen. I just didn't. I just didn't."

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