New book on our Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood's history available now!

Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood in the 1940s

What was it like to be African American in Tucson, Arizona during the forties and fifties?

Long-time Dunbar resident Rita Elliot released a book, Tucson's Forgotten Generation, about growing up in Dunbar/Spring neighborhood in the 1940s and '50s. Read more or buy the book here.


One little girl remembers. For young Rita, it was an adventure to travel every summer by train to hot, dusty Tucson. Rita describes life in the Dunbar Neighborhood, a predominantly black village community in downtown Tucson, where she spent the summers playing on the dirt sidewalks, window-shopping downtown with her grandmother, and listening to family stories told by her grandfather.

Although being “colored” during the forties and fifties was not always easy, little Rita only caught glimpses of the pain and shame her grandparents and parents experienced that resulted from the American apartheid called segregation. Instead, Rita remembers the deeply creative and close-knit community of the Dunbar Neighborhood, and she recalls with pride the activities, the accomplishments, and the rich culture of the families who lived there.