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The NAACP submits a name change for a historic park in downtown Corpus Christi

The NAACP submits a name change for a historical park in Downtown Corpus Christi
Posted at 4:27 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 13:40:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Cole Park in downtown Corpus Christi is a known landmark for many tourists and local residents.

However, the namesake of the park recently raised concerns for the Corpus Christi chapter of the NAACP.

In 1933, real estate developer E.B. Cole donated six acres of his land to the city of Corpus Christi, which is now known as Cole Park.

The park is known for providing visitors with an iconic view of the Corpus Christi skyline.

"Cole park is one of the most popular parks in the city," local park researcher Alyssa Mejia said.

Despite the park's popularity, Deanna King, Vice President of the Corpus Christi-NAACP said that the name is a constant reminder of segregation.

"Although the city did beautify that pier and it is beautiful, we think it shouldn't be kept that name because of the historical background, "King said.

Several members of the Corpus Christi-NAACP including the President, Jeremy Coleman also agree with King. He requested that Cole Park's name be changed in the following statement to the city.

NAACP H. BOYD HALL CHAPTER #6168 RESOLUTION “In request of Cole Park name change- March 20, 2023”

WHEREAS, E. B. Cole donated land for a public park in the 1930’s which is currently located at 2600 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas. In the 1930’s. E. B. Cole was a real estate developer who practiced White Supremacy by developing areas where Blacks were not allowed.

WHEREAS, NAACP H. Boyd Hall Chapter #6168 request from the Mayor Paulette Guajardo along with City Council members, Michael T. Hunter, Jim Klein, Mike Pusley, Everett Roy, Sylvia Campos, Roland Barrera and Dan Suckley to change the Cole Park name due to its racist History and direct link to White Supremacy.

WHEREAS, the NAACP’s mission is to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.

We express our solidarity as a people and organization to change the name of Cole Park due to its racist creation and origin.

Jeremy L. Coleman
NAACP President, H. Boyd Hall Chapter NAACP Office: (361) 884-8541
NAACP Mobile: (361) 443-3848

Corpus Christi Chapter of the NAACP
Resolution -Cole Park.png

Mejia said that Cole would go around the world and encourage people to move into his developments.

"He was going around the country saying, 'this is a great place to live; you should come and move here and buy land and move into my developments," she said.

Pamlet from E.B Coles Travels
Flyer from E.B. Cole inviting people

In addition to getting people to move to the city, she says he encouraged some people to move in rather than others.

"There were clauses and deed restrictions that were saying these are just for caucasian people to live," she said.

Through Mejia's research, she found a proposal for one of Cole's properties from 1947 that stated, "It is to be restricted for use by members of the Caucasian race only."

E.B Cole Park Deed
E.B Cole Park Deed

"He had opportunities at a time when not everyone had opportunities," Meija said. "If you were not a white male, you didn't have those opportunities that he had, so he was using that power of his to create developments that were not open to all people."

The city's ordinance stated that the renaming of a park or park facility which is already named in honor of a person, group, or event is not permitted. KRIS 6 News reached out to the city, and they told us that Cole park can only be renamed if the ordinance is changed.

The NAACP told us they sent the resolution to change Cole Park's name to the city last week. We reached out to the council member that oversees the park, Sylvia Campos. She told us she is aware of the controversy surrounding cole park's name and did not have further comment at the moment.

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