THE FORGOTTEN NEIGHBORHOOD: The Bottom – Introducing David Stallworth

We invite you to share in supporting the community initiatives and service goals of Golden SEEDS CDC. We have a reach history and have accomplished so much, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Your donation will make a difference! https://goldenseedscdc.org/support/

David Stallworth, was born and raised in The Bottom, where his love of basketball began. A 6’7″ forward/center from Dallas’ Madison High School, Stallworth graduated in 1961 and attended Wichita State University. In his three seasons with the Shockers, he set 18 school records, including the highest career point per game average (24.2). Stallworth helped the team reach the 1964 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the school’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and was named to the All-American team twice. He earned the nickname “Dave the Rave” while playing at Wichita State.

In the 1965 NBA draft, Stallworth was selected in the first round by the New York Knicks, with the third overall pick. Stallworth played eight seasons (1965–1967; 1969–1975) in the NBA as a member of the Knicks and Baltimore/Capital Bullets. He averaged 9.3 points per game in his career and won a league championship with New York in 1970.

Stallworth’s play for the Knicks in the 1969–70 season came after he had suffered a heart attack in March 1967, during his second season in the NBA; he had posted a scoring average of 12.6 points per game the previous season. Following a period as a coach for a Wichita-based amateur team, Stallworth was told by his doctor that he could return to playing.

The History of The Bottom

During the post-war era, both veterans and those returning from wartime work poured into Dallas, causing a housing shortage. This shortage caused significant overcrowding in African-American neighborhoods which could not grow outside of their boundaries because of segregation laws.

As the city’s population grew, in particular Oak Cliff, residents south of downtown needed more connections across the Trinity River. At the same time, the city increased housing units within the overcrowded African-American community by building public housing. The biggest physical change came in 1955, when the construction of I-35E crossed the Trinity River along the western edge of the neighborhood where hundreds of homes in the Tenth Street area were demolished resulting in the separation of the east and west sides of Oak Cliff.

“The Bottom” has always been a transient neighborhood, and that lack of rootedness has often led to the misconception that it is an area without much history. Perhaps that is because not many people stick around long enough to learn the history, or those who do tend to not show much interest in it. Ever since John Neely Bryan planted his cabin on the banks of the Trinity River, Oak Cliff has focused singularly on the unspoiled promise of the future-not the inheritance of the past. Ironically, that obsession with the new is one of its oldest and most enduring characteristics”. One of the most remarkable aspects of history is how, in its relatively short 178-odd years of existence, so many neighborhoods were born, evolved, destroyed, replaced, erased and remade anew once more. The result of this impetuous preoccupation with building and rebuilding a place has left few physical markers of a past that, though invisible, continues to shape the present.

We invite you to share in supporting the community initiatives and service goals of Golden SEEDS CDC. We have a reach history and have accomplished so much, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Your donation will make a difference! https://goldenseedscdc.org/support/



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