DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - As we celebrate Black History Month, a local effort is underway by a Dallas native to highlight and remember the city's own Black history.
"I would like people to know we were here," George Keaton said.
In a small east Dallas office, Keaton works to preserve the city's history by reminding and reinforcing the interwoven ties of Black people to that history, including his lineage.
"Behind me is my grandfather, his mother, and his older brother. They came to Texas around 1858," Keaton said.
Remembering Black Dallas is his community education gift.
It's a roving classroom of sorts with teachings such as the story of downtown's Majestic Theater, where Black people were required to sit in the balcony only, or the city's thriving Uptown area, which quietly mentions those refurbished houses sit on the same racially segregated blocks of the 20s and 30s.
The communities of freed slaves can still be found at a high school downtown, a century-old church across the street and a YMCA building for Blacks only that still stands today.
"We do tours around Dallas. We have one scheduled for every weekend of this month. We have one called the Freedman Town's tour," Keaton said.
Remembering Black Dallas is really about ensuring residents don't forget Dallas' Black footprint, which Keaton knows is all around the city.
"If you learn and understand what happened in Dallas' black history, the younger people of the new generation, Black and white, will be able to understand how to confront those adversities when they show up," Keaton said.
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