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Phoenix race relations tinged by Southwest's segregated past

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Posted at 7:43 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 10:43:29-04

PHOENIX (AP) - The tension between Phoenix's police and minority communities that erupted this summer over a videotaped clash with an African American family is a harsh reminder of how blacks and Hispanics were once forced into segregated schools and neighborhoods where they built their own churches and social clubs, even American Legion posts.

Segregation once ruled the U.S. Southwest as well as the Deep South, with some Civil War battles being fought in Arizona, including the Battle of Picacho Pass, between Phoenix and Tucson, and the Battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico that killed some 350 people on both sides.

Neighborhood real estate covenants once barred blacks and Hispanics from buying or leasing homes north of downtown Phoenix and schools were segregated in Arizona and New Mexico near the Texas border.