(April 12, 2017)
Senator Borris L. Mile (D-TX) is proud to announce that SB 822, a bill to save an African American landmark has advanced out of the Senate.
“Lions Municipal Golf Course (Muny) in Austin (TX) was the first desegregated golf course in the south,” said Senator Miles. “Legislation was proposed to save this civil rights treasure, and I am proud that it has passed the full Senate. This is a huge win for African American history.”
Muny was constructed in 1928 and has been under the operation of the City of Austin since 1936, which leases the property from the University of Texas. In 1950, two African American youths defied Jim Crow Laws and were arrested for playing a round of golf at Muny. The mayor ordered their release and then worked to integrate the golf course to be open for all.
SB 822 would protect Muny by transferring it from the University of Texas to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where it would be recognized for its historical and cultural importance, and the department would maintain it as a public golf course.
“Muny was not desegregated by a court order, and it did not have to go before the US Supreme Court. It was desegregated locally, by forward-thinking leaders who knew they had to do the right thing. Those leaders knew segregation was wrong and took a bold stance against it,” said Senator Miles.
“Muny was recognized and supported by many groups and influential leaders like Congressman James Clyburn, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the US Golf Association and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Also, it received the support of UT-alumnus and Pro Golfer Ben Crenshaw, who has committed to raising millions of dollars to preserve and restore the golf course,” said Senator Miles.
“I was proud to join the fight to save this piece of African American history. Muny Golf course is bigger than UT, Austin, and Texas. It is bigger than all of us. I want to thank my fellow members for standing in support of SB 822,” said Senator Miles.