Heart of the High Plains: Amarillo Branch’s NAACP continues fight for equality

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Former president, of the Amarillo Branch’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Floyd Anthony knows all too well the struggles of inequality.

“I couldn’t go to schools in my neighborhood, I couldn’t go outside of my neighborhood to a restaurant,” Anthony explained.

Those are just some of the experiences Anthony had to overcome all because of his skin color.

“I believe as an ex-serviceman, I have a right to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of my race so that’s why I got involved,” Anthony added.

Involved is an understatement. For 15 years Anthony served as the Amarillo Branch NAACP president advocating for equality in all communities and facets.

He will be the first to tell you, equality does not happen overnight. Anthony’s first experience with racism in Amarillo was when he initially moved to the area in 1978.

“They handed us a bus schedule for the school bus, she said, ‘this is the bus schedule for your son’, Anthony recalled. “I said, ‘Oh… buses run in this neighborhood?’ and she said, ‘you live in this neighborhood?’ and I said, ‘yeah, right down the street’ and she snatched the paper out of my hand and threw it on the table. That was my first experience with the school system.”

Around that time, Anthony served as a recruiter for the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering.

“If I’m going to do this I might as well get involved with the NAACP,” Anthony said. “So that was my first project to try and get more black and brown educators employed in the AISD school system.”

Since becoming a member of the NAACP in 1982, Anthony says he’s most proud of the branch’s ability to bring together the people of Amarillo.

“The NAACP is not a Black organization,” Anthony explained, “I tell people that all the time, we are a civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of all people. I’m proud that we have whites we have Hispanics, we have Asians and that is what the NAACP is all about representing people of color and we’re all people of color.”

Anthony continues to serve on the branch’s executive committee. Before the end of last year, Patrick Miller, was named the organization’s newest president.

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