East Texans Feel Decision Changed Their Lives

It was 1954 when the Supreme Court decided segregation was unconstitutional. But Lufkin High School didn't integrate until almost 20 years later.

"Most of the black people held their's out until all the black kids could go, not just a few...until all the kids could go," said A.M. Jeffero, president of Citizens' Chamber of Commerce.

Jeffero says the city of Lufkin and the public school system has changed for the better. Today, black students make up about 15 percent of the Lufkin Independent School District. But he says when it comes to fairness and equality, more work needs to be done.

Jerry Spencer owns two men's clothing stores in East Texas. He got to Lufkin High School just a year after the school's first integrated class graduated. Jerry says going from an all black school to an all white school was different, but it turned out to be a positive experience.

"I still hang out with the friends of all races I met when I got to Lufkin High...it was a good thing," said Spencer.