|Earnest E. Johnson with his wife Mignon (left)
and an unknown friend in 1982
In 1949, Arlington established a formal Department of Recreation for the rapidly growing and developing county.
However, the classes, clubs and activities sponsored by the department mirrored the school system and were segregated.
In 1950, a formal “Negro Recreation Section” was created “with a special emphasis on sports.” Its director was Ernest E. Johnson, who was a central figure for African-Americans in Arlington who wished to participate in the Department’s programs.
Read more about Ernest E. Johnson and the eventual desegregation of the County’s Recreation Department on Our Back Pages.