Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, has announced plans to open a civil rights museum in the Kress Building, a former five and dime store in the downtown area of the city. A lunch counter in the Kress store was one of seven lunch counters in the city that were peacefully desegregated in 1960 after negotiations between civil rights leaders, the business community, and the city government.
A development firm, that owns the building, has agreed to lease the building to the city for free. The city will refurbish the basement where the lunch counter was located and Trinity University will use the space to establish the museum. Developers believe the museum will attract visitors to the downtown area.
Carey Latimore, associate professor of history at Trinity University, told the Rivard Report: “I envision a place, an institute, where the community – especially students – will have an opportunity to engage in museum studies, public history, and perhaps even public policy.”
Dr. Latimore is the author of The Role of Southern Free Blacks During the Civil War Era: The Life of Free African Americans in Richmond, Virginia 1850-1876 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2015). He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta.