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Black History Month


Panel of Local African-American Leaders to Celebrate Black History Month: Discuss History and Future of Norris Community in Commerce, Texas





Black History Month, Norris Community, Ivory Moore, Harry Turner, Billy Reed, James Green, Dr. Lavelle Hendrix, Phillip A. Norris, Quay Throgmorton, Proclamation, Heirloom Project, Commerce City Council, Local Business, Norris School, Basketball Team, Scoreboard, School Uniform, Norris Community Club, Progressive Women’s Club  


The Black History Month panel discussion was held on February 23, 2010 at Commerce Public Library. The speakers were Ivory Moore, Harry Turner, Billy Reed, and James Green. They were representing the Norris Community. The event is a part of cooperation between Texas A&M-Commerce and the Commerce Public Library. The Heirloom Project was another project relating to railroad history. Quay Throgmorton, the City’s mayor, read a proclamation to the City of Commerce, announcing the celebration of Black History Month. Moore introduced his roles when he was serving in the city council for the Norris Community. Hendrix also involves with the community for church activity.


People from Norris usually worked for university in the food service and some of them worked as domestic maids. There were local shops such as Charlie Smith’s store, a BBQ shop, and a barber shop. The Norris School was built in the 1950s on the land donated by Phillip A. Norris. In addition, Norris was the one who helped to bring a railroad into Commerce. The first principal was A.C. Williams. It was the all-black school famous for its basket ball team. Turner played on the team and led them to the Texas State Championship in his junior year. They played in the Dallas area, and neighboring states. The scoreboard only displayed 2 digits, so some games the lower score showing on scoreboard perplexed audiences, but actually the team had reached over one hundred points instead. Student uniforms were funded by the State but were not given every year, usually four to five years apart.


People of the Norris Community gathered at the church to discuss their living needs such as sewer, pavement, and employment. When the Norris Community Club (NCC) was formed into the charter, their needs were heard by the City and the university. The Journalism Department helped by publishing their needs in the newspaper. The university staff and faculty such as Ivory Moore, Dr. Talbot, and Dr. Gold got involved with the community by supporting the organization. NCC helped local residents with employment in the Sheriff Department in Greenville and Commerce. In 1975, Moore was elected to be a city commissioner.


Creator Affiliation

Texas A&M University-Commerce


CLiC, Gee Library




Video, 54 minutes






Creative Commons License- Attribution (see http://creativecommons.org/)


More information

News Release : http://www.scribd.com/doc/26949574/News-Release-for-Immediate-Release-Februar...
CLiC: Converging Literacies Center http://convergingliteraciescenter.wordpress.com/

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