Students on the Hamilton Park playground in the 1960’s

When historic Hamilton Park was dedicated as Dallas’ first planned subdivision for African Americans in 1954, the 179-acre neighborhood featured three churches and a shopping center with a grocery store, radio shop, drugstore and beauty salon. The center of Hamilton Park and its true source of pride, though, was its school for elementary, junior high and high school students.

Despite the Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation ruling of 1954, the Richardson ISD school remained all-black until the high school portion was closed in 1969 and the junior high ceased operating following year. Teens in HP were sent to white high schools throughout RISD, and in 1975, the Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet, an integrated elementary school, was born.

Alums of Hamilton Park School will host a school-wide reunion and 50th anniversary of the Class of 1969 Aug. 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas Hotel. Friday evening will feature a meet-and-greet with shared photos and a denim-and-white hat contest. Saturday night will include inductions into the Bobcat Wall of Fame, presentation of scholarships and music by Claud Parker and Dee Jay Tony Suber. Sunday morning’s highlight will be 10 a.m. worship led by Pastor Aaron McCardell at The Life Church/HPUMC.

Tickets may be purchased here.

You can read more about the history of HP here. You can read about HP earning a historical marker here. You can read about Hamilton Park becoming the first RISD high school to win a state high school football championship here. You can learn about former RISD trustee David Tyson’s lawsuit to create a single member district for HP here.

Hamilton Park Community historic marker

Girl Scouts attend a 1970 worship service at Mount Zion Baptist Church