Cornyn, Gonzales Legislation to Honor Historical Texas School Passes House
Will Establish Marfa’s Blackwell School as National Historic Site
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) and U.S. Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) released the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Blackwell School National Historic Site Act, which would establish the Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas as a National Historic site and become a part of the National Park System:
“Understanding how the diverse history of Texas has shaped this nation is crucial for future generations,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas is a symbol of the progress that has been made and what still remains. I applaud the bipartisan work to pass this bill to commemorate Latino history and culture, and I look forward to this bill being signed into law.”
“We must work together in Congress to paint a more accurate picture of how this country came to be. And that picture is not complete without including the history of Mexican Americans,” said Congressman Gonzales. “For decades, the Blackwell School has been an important piece of history for the City of Marfa, West Texas and Mexican Americans across the country. Establishing the Blackwell School as a National Historic Site will cement its rich, complicated legacy for generations to come.”
“The history preserved in our National Park System helps tell the rich story of our country. However, our national parks and monuments do not yet adequately represent the significant contributions, and often painful history, of diverse communities across the country,” said Sen. Padilla. “I’m proud to see our bill move forward to designate one of just a handful of national park sites commemorating Latino history. I look forward to the President signing this bill to preserve the Blackwell School and carry on the important history it holds as a cornerstone to Mexican heritage.”
From 1909 to 1965, the Blackwell School served as the only school for children of Mexican descent in Marfa, Texas to attend. In 2019, the school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and meets qualifications to become a National Historic Site. If signed into law, this legislation would establish the Blackwell School as one of the few national park sites specifically designated to commemorate Latino history and culture in the United States.