Photo courtesy of the Shankleville Historical Society.

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Project Unity continues the 2023 Listen & Learn Summer Speaker Series with virtual events as the next step and action item opportunity of their Together We Dine and Together We Can programs. The speaker series runs through September. It features the stories of historical figures and leaders who share their life journey and the contribution made to the broader community and nation.

The Shankleville Community is one of the more than 500 “unmapped and unplatted” Texas Freedom Colonies organized by newly emancipated Texans between 1865 and the early 20th century. Located in Deep East Texas’ Newton County, the community gets its name from Jim and Winnie Shankle, the first African Americans in the county to purchase land.

This month’s Listen & Learn is dedicated to the living legacy of the Shankles. Lareatha Clay, the Shankles’ great-great-great-granddaughter, tells the story of the founding of Shankleville, and the lifelong lessons about love, perseverance and resilience that have been passed down from generation to generation. Her story is yet another story showing the roots and tracing the ancestry of how different Black families shaped America’s history.

To be a part of this special listen and learn segment on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. register online by Aug. 28. See past Listen & Learn speakers at

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