Special to The Dallas Examiner
As the classic Marcus Garvey saying goes, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Preservation of Black history and Black culture in the area is a sentimental element that is not only important for the Black community but for the city as a whole in educating every generation.
This month, the roots of Dallas Black History will continue to flourish. On May 13, a dedication ceremony will be held to commemorate the recognition of The Hamilton Park Community as an Official Texas Historical Marker.
“We must remember and remind future generations of the stories and the struggles that got us to where we are,” said Adam McGough, Dallas City Councilmember. “Hamilton Park and the people who have called it home for generations deserve this honor, this marker, and our respect. This is one small, but meaningful step, and we will never forget.”
In July 2016, Texas Historical Commissioners selected Hamilton Park as one of the 15 historical topics to receive an official marker through the Marker Application Fund Undertold Program.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, THC executive director. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our State’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources.”
The story of Hamilton Park is unique and filled with tenacity stemming from the 1950 South Dallas bombing of Black homes and 1953 Love Field airport bond hearing that approved the demolition of Black neighborhoods.
“Aware of a racially motivated African American housing shortage in Dallas, philanthropist Karl S. Hoblitzelle and his foundation coordinated with the Dallas Citizen’s Interracial Association to secure funds for the purchase of a 233-acre site for the development of a planned African American, middle-class community,” said Patricia Hicks, daughter of prominent Hamilton Park leader Rev. Robert Price, in her Undertold Marker Application.
“Named for surgeon and civic leader, Dr. Richard T. Hamilton, the Hamilton Park community opened in May 1954 as a family-oriented community of two-parent households, with shared values, morals and traditions.”
The thriving community was completed in 1961 with 742 single-family homes, an apartment complex, shopping center, churches, and park equipped with a swimming pool, tennis court and baseball diamond, according to Hicks.
“[Now], Hamilton Park is a jewel in North Dallas, known as a quiet, stable and responsible community with dedicated professionals, educators, clergyman, business owners, entertainers, scholars, and blue collar workers,” she said. “The essence and pride of this historic community has been enriched as new generations, guided by the teachings of their parents and mentors, continue to serve in a variety of community and civic roles throughout Dallas County and the world.”
The Hamilton Park Community Historical Marker will be permanently housed in Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School where the community’s original, segregated 12-grade school was located.
The celebration will begin at 2 p.m. at the school, located at 8301 Towns St.