New Mexico's Fading Color Line:
Albuquerque Shows the Way
Early last June I was having lunch in one of the better restaurants on Albuquerque’s Central Avenue with three University of New Mexico students, all of them colored. One was from New Jersey, another from Cuba, the third from Ethiopia. The Jerseyite was passing around a clipping from the New York Times he had just received from a friend back home. The brief article, discussing discrimination in the Southwest, was datelined Los Angeles, May 28,1955. “Discrimination against Negroes,” read a sentence underlined in ink, “is so prevalent that, according to a correspondent, it is as difficult to get a Negro a meal in Albuquerque, of 100,000 population, as it is in Ruidoso, a small mountain resort.”
Miguel Marrero, the Cuban student, read the clipping while the blond waitress served us coffee. Mike grinned his big-toothed grin and remarked, “This fellow obviously hasn’t heard about our anti-discrimination ordinance. He’s at least three years out of date.” Mike might have added that the fellow was also at least three years out of date on his population figures, since Albuquerque had long since passed the 150,000 mark.
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