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Community Education Organization Works To Ensure Dallas Never Forgets Its Black History

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The home of Dallas' founder sits in the center of the city, but the home of Juanita Craft - the godmother of Dallas' Black leadership of the 20th century - stands as a monument of remembrance to the city's story as well.

Dr. George Keaton, who leads Remembering Black Dallas, said, "Dallas history needs to be documented, and our focus this year is document, document, document Dallas' black history."

Remembering Black Dallas is an effort to preserve, present, and promote the footprint of Black life throughout Dallas' dark history of racism and racial segregation and through the communities crafted by former slaves and their descendants.

"As we know Black history in Dallas, it starts with Freedman's Town's, and neighborhoods that were established thereafter," Keaton said.

The view of the City's skyline from the south today overlooks "The Bottom," part of Dallas' Tenth Street district - one of Dallas' original "Freedman's Town" - still with houses, a school, and churces that exist today.

Dallas' Uptown district; for the thousands who live here now, they exercise and enjoy "Hall Street Negro Park" - named today after freed slave and Dallas pastor Allen Griggs.

Griggs Park, which was designated for Black residents, sits between Freedman's Cemetery to the north and Dallas Colored High School - known today as Booker T. Washington High - to the south.

In Northeast Dallas, the only remnant left of the freedman community built over 140 years ago is the cemetery that bears the name of freed slaves and their descendants.

"The history of our city, for the Black community, is being washed away almost daily. It's just important we know our history," said Keaton.

Most know Dallas' Deep Ellum, but remembering its birth is tied to Black life in Dallas a century or so ago is crucial as many today may not know. The mission of Remembering Black Dallas is to teach and value this history of Dallas too.


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