Chicago tries to claim Ernie Banks as its own, and there’s no denying that the late baseball player known as “Mr. Cub” and “Mr. Sunshine” had a positive impact during his 18 years of professional play there and through his community involvement. But Banks was born and raised in Dallas, and on Thursday, that fact was commemorated in a special way.
A statue of Banks was dedicated in front of the original building of Dallas ISD’s Booker T. Washington High School. The piece was sculpted by Booker T. Class of 1985 alumnus Emmanuel Gillespie. The event to dedicate it was celebrated by city, school and community officials; current and former students; staff; family member; and special guests – one of whom is an author whose definitive history of Banks’ life will be published soon.
Banks graduated from Booker T. Washington in 1950 when it was an all-black high school. The campus changed its focus to an arts school in the late 1970s, and the neighborhood – where the Banks family home once stood – has since become a collection of modern facilities providing space for visual and performing arts.
See additional photos here.