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tv   Amarillo Texas Mayor  CSPAN  February 16, 2020 7:00am-7:16am EST

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we'll learn about the city's literary history, including georgia o'keefe and her time in the texas panhandle. then we take a ride along route 66. and later, in about 40 minutes, the history of african-americans in amarillo. we begin our special feature with the city's mayor. >> amarillo's in the center of the texas panhandle. we kind of affectionately call ourselves the capital city of the texas panhandle. and we're approaching 200,000, i think in this next census we'll cross the 200,000 mark, so that's a mile marker for us. as i travel around and talk to other mayors, i really think our superpower here in the city of amarillo is that we think regionally. and so while we do have geographic boundaries that define how many people live inside our city, we truly don't think that way. we think regionally. so we think of all these small,
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rural communities that belong to us, and we we are their city. right now we're standing in the historic santa fe depot. when you think about building the entire city of amarillo, the materials for building our city came through this depot. they arrived by rail right here, and so our city has grown, and we started as a farming, agricultural town. but now we are an urban center for the texas panhandle of 500,000 people. so none of that could have happened without this location being right here by the rail and so much of our industry and even just our materials to live day-to-day lives came right here. of course, the depot say -- vacant. we're not using it for a train station. we don't have passenger service in our city anymore, but we are still a significant hub for bnss, and it's important in the coast to coast travel of marketing goods by rail, we're
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still an important part of that. and the reason amarillo was such a key point in the railroad was, yes with, the cattle industry. we traded cattle back and forth through kansas city from the panhandle region, but also just our agricultural commodities, wheat, cotton, corn. we took those all over the nation. and it's such a rural area, it was so difficult to get to, it really expanded the food supply for the nation, and it really was a huge economic boost to our local rural economy to have the railroad here. whether that was in the 18 is 90s or even the 1950s, the railroad's been a very important part of the amarillo economy and the pan a handle economy. -- panhandle economy. i think one of our largest problems is we are isolated. so from a geographic point of view, we're the spot that everyone comes to, but we're the spot. so it's hard for us to change sometimes because we get sent in our ways -- set in our ways, and
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we don't have a lot of driving forces that force us to change because we are isolated. so just continuing to have a mindset that didn'ts to and -- adapts to and looks for change, looks for innovation, sometimes we struggle with that. but taking what could be a weakness and making it into a trent is that we're pioneers. we like to solve our own problems. we don't typically look to the government or someone else to help us. we like the challenge. we just put our hands to the plow and push harolder and work harder -- harder and work harder, and i love that pioneering spirit in our community. in amarillo we put an emphasis in both local politics, statewide politics and national politic things. of course, everyone's interested in the election that's coming up in 2020. i think amarillo has a lot of variance in its voting record. so it'll be interesting to see
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whether or not we draw any candidates here to come and talk to us. our voting record is traditionally very conservative, and we're known, actually one of our districts here, our congressional district is known as the most conservative district in the nation. district 13. so you go back and look at our voting record, we vote republican more than any other district in the countriment so it makes an interesting blip on the conversation point. but there are some assumptions that go along with that, and it doesn't always draw political candidates to come here and actually campaign. it's just a great american city. and i think we're poised right now at a little bit of a renaissance because we are experiencing a lot of positive momentum. so i think there's going to be a curiosity about our city. there's going to be a curiosity about amarillo as people watch us move up through this renaissance, through the arts,
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through culture, through solving problems, through working together. i think it's going to be a really exciting 20 years for amarillo. >> the c-span cities tour concludes its look at amarillo, texas, with author claudia stewart on the history of african-americans in am april -- amarillo. >> for me, it was important to impart the rich history and the legacy of the african-american families here in amarillo. how they grew through the years, how they struggled during the civil rights era and how they worked together. and so that close-knit family situation, structure and people knowing people, neighbors doing for one another, you know, really taking a village to raise the children, that was very, very important. the first black man in amarillo
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was a person by the name of jerry callaway. jerry callaway was brought here by his employer. the only african-american establishing himself with a white family here in am april low. the second person -- amarillo. the second person that came was matthew bones hooks, and matthew won't hooks was -- bones hooks was a cowboy. he had broken broncos for various ranchers, and he worked with charles goodnight, one of the founding fathers of this area. since there were no blacks here except for him and jerry, that he didn't -- he faced some discrimination in the area. but because he was working with prominent ranch holders, ranch owners, you know, he got -- he fared very well. in the establishment of the african-americanen community here, it was his conversations with lee biggens at the time, who was another founding father
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of this area, about helping to establish a community, a black community that really was set apart from the white community. and they did that. so he got the money and the resources at that time from the biggens family and otherty fathers here in amarillo to help establish the black community. it was known as the flats at first. it was closer to downtown. but then as more and more families came, matthew bones hooks also sought to seek money for the establishment of the north heights community as more and more families were coming. they were coming from all over south texas. sometimes they would come to work the field, the cotton field, because this was an agricultural area. or they came to work on the railroad or things of that sort. and that would probably have been around the 1920 because a
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lot of our churches in the black community were established around that time. the black population was, even though they were few in number, they were very close-knit. and they pretty much had to establish their own resources; grocery stores, churches, schools. because of the animosity shown toward them by the white population here. matthew boneses hooks was also instrumental in starting what wassen known as the dogie club here in amarillo because african-american boys were not allowed to join the white organizations. there was a maverick club, maverick boys and girls club even at that time. but african-americans weren't allowed to go there. so matthew bones hooks started the dogie club. and members of that club through the years are the ones that handed down those oral histories. at the time that we put the book
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together, charles kemp and charles warford had been members of that club, had actually worked with bones hooks and had a lot of great things to say about how he helped them become better citizens, better young men, you know, understanding the importance of family, gave them a work ethic and things of that sort. that's one of the things that bones hooks was able to do with african-american boys, and he mentored them all throughout the years. i think some of the leader that were impacting the community especially during the civil rights era was the leadership of the naacp. membersof the community and and our churches, various ministers that had large congregations who also reached out for community unity and got their membership and others to work together for
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the betterment of the total community. we we had like, you know, 1% of the population at the school were african-americans. very small population. and there were some things that were going on that i felt were discriminatory in many ways because i didn't find that in other areas where we had lived, where we had been stationed in the past. one of the things that i found was that in coming to amarillo to shop, just a minor thing that really caught me was, you know, i lived in the dorm at wt and came to amarillo to buy makeup, for instance. and it was under lock key. lock and key. i asked why the black makeup us was under lock and key, and the white makeup was out on the counter.
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and i was told by the management that that's the way it's always been. where are you from? i said, well, i'm not from this area, but that seems like discrimination to me. why is it not out like everybody else's makeup out. they said that's the way it's always been since they'd been there, and they'd been managing the store for quite a while. if i had a problem, i needed to talk to whoever sent the makeup. okay, i asked them who sent the makeup, and the next time they come around, the sales rep, can we get it changed. well, long story short, it took about six months of -- they never called me. i checked back with them and just asked for the number so that i could call the rep. and i'm still a student at wt. i got in touch with the rep in chicago and asked them if we could is have a meeting when they got to amarillo. well, that happened with the management at woolworth's, and when they were told that they were being blamed for needing to have the black makeup locked up,
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the rep said, well, no, that's not our prerogative. and if you're saying it's up to us, we no longer want it locked up either. so that was changed. and it was just things like. that, that i thought at wt after inte gracious but there was still, you know, the lingering effects of racism still in the area. i think the conditions and the plight of african-americans in amarillo today is a little different than it was in the past. we have better resources and better opportunities than we had in the past. we're still like 6% of the population, we're still very few, but i think the strides of african-americans in this community has been great through the years. you know, you can't legislate prejudice and bigotry. bridge those gaps. you know, not only on the
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community that you're in, but the community at large. because we all want the betterment of society. we're all human beings living on, in this country together. to pick the world a better place. >> twice a month c-span's cities tour takes booktv and american history tv on the road to explore the literary life and history of a selected city. working with our cable partners, we visit various literary and historic sites as we interview local historians, authors and civic leaders. you can watch any of our past interviews and tours online by going to and selecting c-span city's tour from the series dropdown at the top of the page. or by visiting you can also follow the cities tour on twitter for behind the scenes images and video from our visits. the handle is the president c-span cities --@c-span cities.
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>> here's a look at some books being published this week. brian green explores the origins and future of the cosmos in until the end of time. in whistleblower, former uber engineer susan fowler speakes out against the sexual harassment culture she says she encountered while working for the company. in congress at war, historian fergus boardwick argues the civil war was won by the house and senate. west point professor of law tim bakken argues use of blind loyalty in the military has led to failure both on and off the battlefield in the cost of loyalty. in the boston massacre, a historian looks at the personal conflicts that led to the revolutionary war. copp nor doherty -- connor doherty in golden gates. and in dark towers, new york times financial you would to have david enrich takes a
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critical look at deutsche bank and its dealings with donald trump. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] >> please welcome dr. lynne cheney and karl rove with your moderator, susan eisenhower. [applause] >> you don't want to fall off the steps went you enter the dais. [laughter] let's see, i -- they told me left. >> all the way over. [laughter] >> karl, you know the difference between right and left, don't you? [laughter] >> yeah, you're on their right. [laughter] >> welcome,


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