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Texas transplant didn’t mess up

For The Madera Tribune

Albert Wilburn.


The black farmer strode to the fence that separated his 170-acre farm from his white neighbor’s farm in Northeast Texas. It was 1950, and the black farmer had had enough of life in the Lone Star State.

As an African-American, his children were allowed to go only to one school, and it had just eight grades. He and his family had repeatedly been denied some of the everyday amenities of life: a drink from the water fountain in the park; the use of its restrooms; a day in the public library; and now this. His neighbor had been harassing him by cutting the fence at night and letting his cows loose. Grady Wilburn wasn’t going to take it anymore.

When he got to the fence that day, he began to dig with the shovel he carried with him. He worked a couple of hours and finally he had what he wanted, a hole the size of which would contain a man’s body. He looked at the pile of dirt, stuck the shovel in the mound of earth and called for his neighbor. Upon the white man’s approach, the black man explained the hole.


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