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!

Golden S.E.E.D.S. Foundation is excited to share our history series about The Bottom! Never heard of The Bottom, well you’re not alone there are so many that have not; however, our series will change that and get you in the know of a hidden treasure of this city. The Bottom is an unknown part of the DFW Metroplex that has a rich legacy of community, trailblazers, faith, perseverance, families and love. Want to learn more? We invite you to subscribe and follow us along a storied journey of triumph, tribulation and resurrection.

Julia Scott Reed is from the Bottom District and noted as the first African American journalist to work at The Dallas Morning News as an influential writer about Dallas civic affairs, civil rights, and social issues. Julia was not the first or last Dallas Morning News columnist to wield influence with her words, but she is undoubtedly among the most noteworthy and memorable. The Booker T. Washington alum launched her journalism career in 1950 when she joined the staff of a weekly African American newspaper in Missouri covering news from Texas. The following year, she landed a job as secretariat at the Dallas Express, the city’s top African American newspaper at the time. She was quickly promoted to the role of Social Reporter, and eventually began covering civil rights and politics, later becoming Editor of the city desk. In 1963, she was one of the journalists present when Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald at Dallas police headquarters. Her subsequent coverage of the event bolstered her status as a leading figure among the ranks of black journalists in Dallas. In 1967, during the height of the civil rights movement, Julia made history when she became the first African American journalist hired at the Dallas Morning News, where she penned a column called “The Open Line” that appeared three times a week.

For the next decade, Julia’s column delivered news and perspectives about the Dallas black community covering important topics and events in the areas of politics and elections, race relations, religion, and current affairs. Her work has been credited with giving voice to a formerly disenfranchised population in one of the state’s leading newspapers, as well as helping white Dallas residents gain a better understanding of the challenges, contributions, and everyday life of the black community. From the Dallas Morning News: “…her column was able to connect people to employment, inspire involvement in a local blood drive when there was a blood shortage, and recruit volunteers for charity events. In that same year, she helped more than six black foster children get placed in adoptive homes after writing a column about the many black children in the Dallas foster system who were having difficulty landing placement with adoptive families.”

Dallas Morning News columnist Norma Adams-Wade, who has frequently cited Julia’s influence on her own career, paid tribute to the trailblazing journalist after Julia’s passing. Julia was also a leader outside of the newsroom, serving as a precinct chair for the Democratic Party (a position she held for more than 20 years) and as the inaugural president of the Dallas Urban League. She was also the first African American member of the Dallas Press Club and the Altrusa Club of Dallas. She passed away in 2004 at the age of 87. In 2018, the Dallas Morning News named a conference room in her honor following the news outlet’s relocation to a new headquarters.

Gladys Dickerson BSN, RN

Gladys Dickerson, born in the Bottom, is recognized as the first and only African American Nurse Manager employed by the Dallas Veteran Affairs (VA) Emergency Room.

Her life in Oak Cliff included attending school at NW Harllee Elementary and Franklin D. Roosevelt High Schools. In 1972, she graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Nursing, and immediately began her professional career at Parkland Hospital for five (5) years before joining the staff at the Dallas V. A. Medical Center. She later assumed the position of director of Home Care Services and retired after 35-years in Nursing.

She is the mother of four, and the grandmother of five amazing and gifted children, who also are major influencers in the Dallas Oak Cliff community.

Her professional recognitions include Excellent In-Home Care awards, Great 100 Nurse award, EEO State award for creating and teaching a GED program, and most notably, she addressed the United States Congress on behalf of Home Health Care for the VA Medical Center.

Ms. Dickerson has served her community in several capacities.  She volunteered as Advisor for the Circle Ten Council Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post for 25 years, and had the largest Medical Post in Exploring History, amassing more than 100,000 volunteer hours. She also was a Boy Scouts of America board member and is currently the ministry leader of the Nurses Guild at Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church, in the Bottom. She is also the Dean of memberships of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc. Professional Nursing Sorority.

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.

Joseph Edwin Lockridge, Texas state legislator, son of Reverend L. R. Lockridge and Demover (Gregory) Lockridge, was born in Waco on July 15, 1932. His family moved to Dallas when he was five where he spent his childhood years in “The Bottom” and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1954 and a law degree from Howard University in Washington, D. C. in 1960. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War and passed the exam for admission to the Texas State Bar in 1960. That same year, he began a private practice and later became a partner at the Finch, Lockridge, and Cunningham firm in Dallas.

Lockridge, a Democrat, was elected to the House in the Texas legislature in 1966, which made him Dallas’s first black state representative since Reconstruction. In 1967 during the Sixtieth legislative session, his colleagues elected him “Rookie of the Year.” During his legislative tenure, Lockridge served on the Education, House State Affairs, Federal Relations, Mental Retardation, and Penitentiary committees. He was responsible for the passage of legislation authorizing community halfway houses for recovering mental health patients.

Lockridge also stayed active within his community. He served on the board of the Dallas Urban League, the policy council of the Dallas Civil Defense and Disaster Commission, and the Dallas County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Study Committee. He was also a State Vocational Rehabilitation Program advisor, chairman of the Goals for Dallas Task Force on Public Safety, and a participant in the Boy Scouts of America, the YMCA, the Shriners, and the Masons.

Despite his legislative success, Lockridge was unable to finish his term. On May 3, 1968, his life came to an end in a plane crash that killed more than eighty passengers near Dawson, Texas. He was returning to Dallas from Houston after making a speech at Prairie View A&M College (now Prairie View A&M University). The week of his death, Texas governor John Connally and Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes made public tributes to Lockridge. Connally described Lockridge as “a dedicated and popular young leader, one of the most effective freshman legislators in my memory.” Barnes said Lockridge’s death was “a great loss for the people of his district and for all citizens of Texas.” He also stated, “I know of no man who has done more to promote equality and mutual understanding among his fellow men than Joe Lockridge.”

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!

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