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Private-equity Executive Breaks Racial Barrier at Dallas Country Club

The most remarkable story in today’s Dallas Morning News wasn’t found on the front page but in a Metro column by James Ragland. In it, Ragland reported that the Dallas Country Club has granted full membership to a black person for the first time in its 118-year history. For whatever reason, the man who made the cut—private-equity executive Kneeland Youngblood—waited 13 years to have his application approved. Apparently it took a trailblazer like Youngblood—well-off, super-patient, community-minded, well-connected in sophisticated business circles—to break down this barrier in the year 2014.

According to Ragland, some DCC higher-ups may have questioned Youngblood’s involvement with the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH coalition. Those types might have been further put off to read this brief profile of Youngblood that appeared several years ago in D CEO magazine. As a Princeton University student in the ’70s, the story says, Youngblood participated in a student sit-in protesting the university’s investments in companies doing business with South Africa. And in 2008, he served on presidential candidate Barack Obama’s national finance committee. “I think it’s a great moment for Dallas, it’s a great moment for the club,” Mayor Mike Rawlings told Ragland about Youngblood’s breakthrough. Better 100 years late than never, I guess.

  • Buffy

    Finally. I recall speaking to a DCC member, a female whose grandfather and father were members and, though she struggled financially, by damn she kept her DCC membership. When I challenged her on why no African Americans were allowed to apply she said, “oh they can apply, just see if they ever get in. ha ha.” Well, you third generation running out of money bigot, that day has come. Who will be next? An Indian? A Hispanic? It’s wide open now, right?

  • Avid Reader

    What is average wait time to become a member?

  • BGBG

    This is disingenuous at best. It would take almost anyone who isn’t directly related to a member almost 13 years to get in the Dallas Country Club.

  • CSP

    With its long and well-known history of discrimination, it’s hard for me to imagine how anyone with a conscience could remain a member of that club.

  • Dubious Brother

    I remember when Arthur Ashe was not allowed to play at DCC because he was Black. I believe he won the local pro tournament and the winner always put on an exhibition at DCC but not that year. That is discrimination.
    On the other hand, private clubs have the right to restrict their membership as they wish. Jewish golf clubs exist.
    In the past I have heard that the waiting time for membership at DCC was at least 25 years and I bet that over the last 13 years, many white applicants have been passed over at DCC as I don’t think skin color is the only requirement for membership.
    As for me, I’m with Groucho Marx – “I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member.”

  • Buffy

    Ps – No, we’re really not “just jealous.”

  • Avid Reader

    Since no one said anything about anyone being jealous…the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  • emmparks

    I have a friend who is not related to a member (although she does travel in the ‘right’ circles) and it took her about 2 years.

  • Dukakis_in_a_tank

    Why would anyone who protested a university’s investment in a country because of its racist policies want to join a club that clearly has racist policies?

  • Eric

    That first night in the main dining room will be something.

  • Tex

    Who cares about the DCC?