United Front

Throughout the Civil Rights Movement there were various organizations such as the Black Panther Party that used combative methods in order to advocate for civil rights. Although the Black Panther party did not have a strong presence in Fort Worth, there was a group called the United Front that used direct and confrontational methods to fight for civil rights. The United Front was comprised primarily of youth with a drive to make a difference to fight power with power, though not necessarily in violent ways.

“I remember the United Front well, many of my friends were members of the United Front, and had I gone to college here I would have been a member as well… It was an activist organization of young people whose goal was to get equal rights. One of the things that they pushed for was integration of the news rooms at the Star Telegram and the various TV and radio outlets. Jobs at the city of Fort Worth, back during that time black men couldn’t even drive a garbage truck… They were much more confrontational, but not particularly violent. They would get in the cops faces, and not back down.” -Roy Brooks

The United Front was not necessarily violent, but their direct nature and refusal to back down sparked a lot of tension in Fort Worth.

“Now they [The United Front] were belligerent, yeah they were, but they were a little bit younger, that’s the reason they were like that. And they would speak out, and boy the white folks didn’t like them at all, ‘cause that was trouble. It’s a funny thing, it’s like how people feel about Malcolm X. They were more of that Malcolm X type, and whatever they thought came out and they met over there in that building. I don’t think the powers at be liked them too well because they spoke truth and would try to do things to resist. But you had our people, you know what they did? Just like they did Malcolm, ‘Oh they just want to start some trouble’, you had that group. They were ostracized; there was no support, even though they were trying.” – Marjorie Crenshaw

Although the United Front had aspirations of gaining more rights for African Americans in Fort Worth, their lack of cohesion and the absence of community support did not allow them to be hugely successful. Ultimately the United Front did influence change by keeping pressure on institutions in Fort Worth to integrate and halt discriminatory practices.

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