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Corpus Christi AFT joins NAACP in pushing for name change of Cole Park

Corpus Christi AFT joins NAACP in pushing for name change of Cole Park
Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-09 22:19:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In mid-March, the The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Corpus Christi Chapter submitted a resolution to rename Cole Park.

Three months later, they have not made any progress.

The park is named after businessman E.B. Cole — who donated land to the city for the park in the late 1800’s.

Local researcher Alyssa Mejia said she found a document that stated the park "is to be restricted for use by members of the Caucasian race only."

The NAACP is still waiting to hear from the city of Corpus Christi about their resolution that called for Cole park to be renamed.

"That's not Corpus Christi, we need to come together and that's why the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers joins with the NAACP to demand that this park be renamed," Nancy Vera, President of the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers, said.

Vera and the local NAACP are sending a second resolution to city council.

The new resolution demands a name change, but also calls for a historical marker to be placed on the park's property.

Vera said the historical marker would include the back story of E.B. Cole.

"I think (that's) ignorance. I think that's total ignorance because that's the purpose of the historical marker," she said. "It's to show that it was named after a white supremacist because I guarantee you that 95 percent of the population in Corpus Christi does not know the history of E.B. Cole."

Deanna King is the vice president for the H-Boyd Hall Chapter of the NAACP and she said the more people that are involved, the greater the impact will be.

"AFT to join the NAACP in the renaming of Cole Park, that's a huge thing. Any type of support we can get for this, it'll be a plus. It's a thing that we need to do," King said.

Despite the park's popularity, Vera said the name is a constant reminder of segregation.

"It's one thing to have a park named Cole Park and have a sign there, but when it lights — a white supremacist. Come on now,” Vera said.

KRIS 6 News reached out to the City Manager Peter Zanoni who said the city is aware of the NAACP's request and they are working through city council.

KRIS 6 News also spoke with District 2 council member Sylvia Campos. She said the previous resolution has been discussed in executive session, so she was unable to provide comment.

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