Judge Clifford Davis: A Driving Force in Fort Worth’s Black Community

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 FORT WORTH -- Nowadays, we call him Judge Davis. A lot has changed since Clifford Davis was born in 1925.

"The society was totally segregated in those days," he said in a 2013 interview with CW33. "We learned to live and survive with it.'

And that segregation affected almost every facet of life.

"Water fountains were separate. The restrooms separate. They have white women, white men and a restroom for coloreds," Davis said.

The young man from Arkansas went to law school at Howard University, then felt his calling in Texas, specifically, Tarrant County. In 1955, he filed the lawsuits to end segregation of schools in Mansfield and Fort Worth.

"We brought the suits for integration of the Mansfield and Fort Worth school districts because we felt the children should be able to go to school in their neighborhood," he said.

It took years, but the schools were integrated. Today one of them even bears his name.

He moved to the other side of the courtroom, becoming Tarrant County's first African-American state district judge in 1983. And even at the age of 90, his work continues.

"There is still much to be done, but you have to be honest and say its better than it was," he said.

And we have Judge Davis, among many others, to thank for that.

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