On June 4 Pat Gulley was a speaker at the Voices United (VU) monthly lunch meeting. Pat has gained notoriety at UNT and is the subject of several oral and written artifacts about her social activist work in the 1960s with the Denton Women’s Interracial Fellowship (DWIF).
Pat earned her bachelor’s degree in speech and drama at the University of Tulsa and was a teacher in Oklahoma City before moving to Denton in 1962 with her husband. She was taking a break from teaching to raise her family when she decided to join the DWIF. She and several other white women were intent on getting to know the black women and children of their community, so they started hosting interracial picnics and monthly meetings at each other’s houses. Those close interactions forged wonderful, lasting bonds between the white families and the black families.
Those interactions also gave Pat and the other white women a glimpse into black everyday living during that time in Denton. The disparities were glaring. For example, the black school had been closed to force integration, but no busing was provided for the three-mile trip to the integrated school. Pat’s group set up a carpool to transport the black children to school. Busing was implemented the following fall. The DWIF spearheaded several other group projects, such as tutoring, the 1964 election, and a project to get the streets paved in the black neighborhood.
To learn more about Pat Gulley, the DWIF, and some of the history of desegregating Denton, search for her online articles at UNT.
Voices United is a non-partisan group of Robson Ranch women who share progressive values, perform community outreach, provide civic awareness and social contact for members … and have a good time! We’re a 501(c)(3) organization open to Robson Ranch residents. For more information, contact [email protected]