By Jim Schutze
with a new foreword by John Wiley Price
The powerful classic of Dallas history that examines the violent and suppressed history of race and racism in the city, from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement, and the city’s desegregation efforts in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Written by longtime Dallas political journalist Jim Schutze, formerly of the Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Observer, and currently columnist at D Magazine, The Accommodation: The Politics of Race in an American City details the violent and suppressed history of race and racism in Dallas from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement, and the city’s desegregation efforts in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Known for being an uninhibited and honest account of the city’s institutional and structural racism, Schutze’s book argues that Dallas’ desegregation period came at a great cost to Black leaders in the city.
“The Accommodation is one of the first major works about the history of race and racism in Dallas, and its importance to the counter narrative of ‘Dallas as a great city for all’ can’t be understated,” shares Jerry Hawkins, Executive Director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, who also serves on the Deep Vellum board of directors. “The telling of a Black story by a white author deserves continued critique and interrogation, however with The Accommodation, Jim Schutze delivered a must-read treatise about racism in Dallas that was both eye-opening and prophetic.”
The Accommodation was originally set to be published by Taylor Publishing Company of Dallas in 1986 before being dropped from publication. It was then published by Citadel Press of New Jersey in 1987 before rights were purchased by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.
While long out of print, this title has seen repeated waves of interest among Dallas residents since its original publication. Most recently, it has been called “The Most Dangerous Book in Dallas” by Peter Simek of D Magazine and “essential reading to understand Dallas” (Tim Diovanni, Dallas Morning News) and has been distributed digitally and in samizdat printouts among Dallasites interested in learning more about what makes Dallas the city it is, and how to address that history to build a better, more inclusive city together.
“One chapter of Texas’ civil rights legacy is opening back up. A long-suppressed book about politics and race in Dallas is growing in popularity… The resurgence of The Accommodation is so important to so many.” –CBS This Morning Saturday
“An essential gift delivered almost four decades before Dallas was ready to receive it.” –John Wiley Price, Dallas County Commissioner
“The Accommodation is one of the first major works about the history of race and racism in Dallas, and its importance to the counter narrative of ‘Dallas as a great city for all’ can’t be understated… The telling of a Black story by a white author deserves continued critique and interrogation, however with The Accommodation, Jim Schutze delivered a must-read treatise about racism in Dallas that was both eye-opening and prophetic.” – Jerry Hawkins, Executive Director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation
“A 199-page book published in 1987 has again caught our eyes… Viewing the long out-of-print text as vital reading to understand the city, some Dallas residents have shared the book amongs themselves digitally and in bootleg form for decades.” –Tim Diovanni, Dallas Morning News
“A masterpiece of history and insight. The author was decades ahead of his time, and his work is worthy of accolades.” –Dave Lieber, Dallas Morning News
“One of the most sought after reads on how racism shaped this American city… The book [takes] a critical view of both the white and the Black leaders, painting both sides as being complicit in laying the groundwork for how race relations the divisions in the city would play out in Dallas for decades to come.” –Sabra Ayres, Spectrum
“Notorious to this day.” –Jeneta Nwosu, HPHS Media
"The book is important for modern readers for several reasons, according to a March 1987 D Magazine article: 'to better understand why some Blacks continue to distrust the police … to fathom why the Black community produces political leaders who seem to aim more at confrontation than consensus, and to help us comprehend the legacy of frustration and fury that is powerfully manifest in the statistics of Black poverty and crime.'" –Christian McPhate, Dallas Observer
"A classic, unsparing account of racial politics and white supremacy in Dallas. This outstanding book was first published in 1986 by the Citadel Press of Secaucus, New Jersey, after its original publisher, Taylor Publishing Company of Dallas, dropped the book under intense pressure from the city’s establishment. Reading the book, you’ll see why: Schutze delivers a damning narrative of racial power politics in Dallas from the city’s beginnings to the 1980s, with particular emphasis on the fire bombings and expropriation of black-owned property in the 1950s. Now reissued by Deep Vellum, this suppressed, hard-to-find classic will hopefully now find the wider audience it justly deserves." —Ben Fountain