In ‘Secret History’ Comic Book, Reporter Shines A Light On San Antonio’s Lesser Known Stories

Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies wanted to tell stories about things besides the Alamo, including one about racial segregation in public swimming pools.

By Laura RiceOctober 25, 2018 12:44 pm| ,

“I wrote a comic book,” says David Martin Davies, reporter for Texas Public Radio. His comic book “San Antonio Secret History” celebrates the San Antonio Tricentennial by shedding new light on “stories that people should know more about,” Davies says.

One of his goals with the book was to highlight things in San Antonio besides the Alamo. For instance, he grew up near Woodlawn Swimming Pool where he was a lifeguard during his teenage years.

“I didn’t know an important story that had taken place there,” he says. So he set out to find one … and succeeded.

In June of 1957, six African-American children jumped into the pool, and the city took swift action to keep it from happening again. 

“This is the age of Jim Crow, and this was a whites-only pool at the time. The city freaked out. They shut down all of the city pools and the city passed an emergency ordinance segregating the pools. At the time, Jim Crow was an unofficial understanding, and now they had to codify it into law – that happened on Juneteenth, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is an important remnant of Jim Crow racism right here, and I knew nothing about it. What happened to that history, why was it erased?’” Davies says.

He didn’t know how readers would react to his stories when he was putting the book together, but he says so far, they’ve been enthusiastic and supportive.

“People appreciate the stories. I charge $5 a copy, so it’s not gonna make any money … but I wanted to make this available,” Davies says.

San Antonio Secret History” is available at bookstores in San Antonio, on Amazon and at texaspublicradio.org.

 

Written by Alvaro Céspedes.