Tenth Street Historic District – Photos courtesy of Dallas City Hall

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Remembrances of the historic Tenth Street neighborhood in Oak Cliff headline the Juneteenth celebrations at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The Tenth Street neighborhood is located east of I-35 and north of Clarendon Drive in Oak Cliff, including Oak Cliff Cemetery and more than 250 residences built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Established after the Civil War by former slaves, the district flourished through the Jim Crow era as a self-contained African American community. It is considered one of the few remaining intact Freedmen’s towns in the United States. In 1994, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its cultural and architectural significance.  

Activities begin with a presentation by Dallas historian and African American genealogist Donald Payton followed by a performance by musician Stanley Glenn playing blues music originated by Tenth Street native T-Bone Walker. An exhibit of historic photographs and artwork from the Dallas Public Library archive and items of historic significance provided by Tenth Street Residents’ Association will be on display. The exhibit runs on the 7th floor through Oct. 20.

Afternoon events include a remembrance stone activity led by the Nasher Sculpture Center to honor Black residents who shaped the history of the Tenth Street neighborhood; an interactive exercise on building your ideal neighborhood facilitated by the nonprofit RAYO Planning; and a staging of A Free Man Cries for the Future, an original play by Iv Amenti about the joys and struggles of a mid-20th century family from Tenth Street.

A complete schedule of events can be found at https://dallaslibrary.librarymarket.com/DPLjuneteenth. All events are free and do not require registration.  

These programs are made possible thanks to the Friends of the Dallas Public Library. A Free Man Cries for the Future is funded by the Office of Arts and Culture and the Community Arts Pop-Up Cultural Center.  

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