Colored Town and White Town

Many former members of the Total Experience Gospel Choir are familiar with Pastor Pat Wright’s stories about Colored Town and White Town. “Colored Town” was the area of her home town of Carthage, Texas where the African-Americans gathered and did businesses among black-owned shops during the “Jim Crow” era of enforced racial segregation. Although African-Americans were allowed to shop in the white part of town, known as “White Town”, they were not allowed to use the front entrances of buildings and had to treat white people with respect as they themselves were disrespected.

Pastor Pat says that the best products were always found in White Town. For instance, the clothes the black stores offered for sale were the clothes that did not sell in White Town. The eventual decline of Colored Town’s businesses after desegregation the late 1960s has been attributed to the preference of African-American customers for the products and services sold in White Town. Historic Colored Town is commemorated by a sign that lists the black-owned businesses that once occupied the now vacant lots.

Andrew Elizaga