Congressman Gonzales Visits Marfa to Celebrate Blackwell School Legislation Becoming Law
On Tuesday I participated in a ceremony at the Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas with the National Parks Conservation Association, members of the Blackwell School Alliance, Blackwell Alumni, and local officials. The gathering commemorated legislation that Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) amd I introduced to designate the Blackwell School as a National Historic Site (NHS) under the National Park Service. On October 17th, the White House signed the Blackwell School National Historic Site Act into law.
“The Blackwell School stands today as a tribute to Mexican American history. Designating this important monument as a national historic site will ensure that the stories and memories of Blackwell students are never forgotten,” I said. “It was an honor to join the National Parks Conservation Association and the Blackwell School Alliance for a site visit to celebrate this important accomplishment that carries incredible cultural, economic, and historical impact for the Marfa community and beyond.”
From 1909 to 1965, the Blackwell School served as the only school for children of Mexican descent in Marfa, Texas. In 2019, the school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and meets qualifications to become a National Historic Site. This legislation will establish the Blackwell School as one of the few national park sites specifically designated to commemorate Latino history and culture in the United States.
I introduced the legislation in July 2021. A companion bill in the U.S. Senate was introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Alex Padilla (D-CA). Yesterday, the bill was signed into law.
For photos from the event click here.