Dallas Texas Unveils Hidden History of Racism – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The hidden history of racism was revealed Thursday at an exhibit called “Fair Park Uprooted” in the music hall lobby.

Blacks’ Fair Park experience has been very different from whites over the years.

When our Fair Park neighbor, Lucy Kane, grew up and couldn’t visit the Texas State Fair when white people were there, black people had to sit on the balcony of the music hall.

“I could only go one day a year. It was called Black Achievement Day,” Cain said.

But she was front and center, both as a participant in Thursday’s unveiling ceremony and as a speaker for the video portion of the exhibit.

said Ken Novice, CEO of Broadway Dallas.

For African Americans, the worst part of Fair Park’s history is the displacement of hundreds of families from their homes to secure parking.

“The city decided to gather all people of color from around the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys played in the Cotton Bowl,” said civil rights activist Peter Johnson.

Johnson arrived in Dallas in 1969 to promote a documentary about Martin Luther King Jr., who had been assassinated the previous year.

Johnson ended up adopting the cause of a Fair Park homeowner who had been evicted from the neighborhood.

“They were able to get more money than they were offered and relocation funds to help with the relocation, but it was still very little,” Johnson said.

Longtime activists and residents remembered its history on the 60th anniversary of King’s appearance in the music hall.

“More than 200 white racists showed up that night to try and stop Dr. King from speaking out. They thought he was an outside agitator and dangerous,” said community activist Marilyn. Clark said.

A sold-out play inspired by Johnson’s work from those years is running through Sunday at the tiny Fair Park Theater across from the Music Hall display.

“Progress. Progress is like a snail when it comes to these issues, but it’s proof of progress,” Johnson said.

Clark said many South Dallas residents today may be unaware of the struggles of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

“That’s why this project is so important,” she said. “We can’t hide what happened in the past. We have to go out and get some fresh air. We have to take it back. You have to hit it where you can hit it, or you’ll end up doing the same thing over and over again.”

Funding for the music hall exhibition was also provided by the Addi Foundation.

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