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.