DALLAS: THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Dallas is a richly diverse city.
Over the years, it has become a melting pot of cultures, religions and lifestyles. This important convergence of uniqueness and differences is reflected throughout the sights and sounds of the city.
African Americans hold a unique place in the history of Dallas, a history continuously echoed in how the African American community is viewed today. That story begins in the 1930s, revealing footprints all around city which show and highlight the past struggles and progress of African Americans in Dallas.
SEE THE SITES
These landmarks tell the unique story of the Civil Rights Movement in Dallas, which began in 1930s, revealing the footprints all around the city that show the past struggles and progress of African Americans in Dallas. This list includes a few highlights and there are many more to experience during your time in Dallas.
Fair Park was originally established in 1886 as an 80-acre fairground on the outskirts of East Dallas for the Dallas State Fair. Today, the park covers 277 acres and his home to many big events and attractions, including the State Fair of Texas, the Grambling Game and Prairie View State Fair Classic and Texas vs Oklahoma football games. As it was in the past, the area is still home to a large and vibrant African American community, businesses, attractions and restaurants owned by African Americans.
Dallas resident Donald Payton's ancestors came to Dallas as slaves in 1847 and worked at the Millermore Plantation for a man named William Brown Miller. The mansion and grounds have been restored but visitors can see where Payton's family cleared the land, raised the crops and built homes and churches in the area surrounding the mansion. IN addition to the mansion and slave quarters, 30 historical structures dating back to the early 1800s are also open to visitors.
The Dallas Civil Rights Museum at MLK Jr. Center
This museum houses a large collection of speeches, books, art and artifacts relevant to the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The exhibit was designed to inspire people to discover and reconnect with the power of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Emancipation Proclamation - Junteenth
On June 19, "Juneteenth", 1865, two years after the abolishment of slavery, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston. Once there, he issued General Order Number 3 Emancipation Proclamation which freed approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas and other parts of the South. The original document is in the permanent collection at the Dallas Historical Society. It is a special display – please check exhibit dates.
Freedman's Memorial Cemetery
As you arrive at the entrance, you are greeted by magnificent sculptures by David Newton. The remains of over 7,000 African Americans, some dating back to the Civil War, are buried here. For decades, the cemetery suffered from neglect and the grounds were further disturbed when first the railroad and then the expressway were built through the grounds. Today, the memorial is a thoughtful and fitting tribute to all who are resting there.
Developed in 1953, this 175-acre neighborhood was one of the first suburbs in Texas built specifically for African Americans. The community, named after Dr. Richard Theodore Hamilton, an influential voice in the Civil Rights Movement, is still as vibrant as it was in the 1950s when African American families moved to the area. Visitors enjoy an 18-acre park in the heart of the community that features a full-service recreation center. A historical marktr which highlights a thriving community for over 60 years, rests on the grounds of the Hamilton Park School. The school, originally segregated, is now the Hamilton Park Pacesetters Magnet School.
Plan your visit
Download your self-guided tour brochure
Make a weekend of exploring these landmarks using our brochure. From stops in South Dallas to sites in North Dallas, these landmarks play a vital role in the diversity of our city and are a must on any cultural itinerary during a getaway to Dallas.
Dallas' many neighborhoods and entertainment districts have everything you can imagine for an exciting and diverse visit. From family-friendly offerings and quaint settings to vibrant nightlife and exciting atmospheres, you can do and see it all in Dallas' various neighborhoods and surrounding cities.