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The Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society sponsored a historic bus tour last Friday. I was able to go since I’m a college student and this was free to all students.
First stop was Mount Gilead Baptist Church. Our tour guide told us this is the oldest black church in Fort Worth and 4 churches have come from this church. It had incredibly detailed stain glass windows through out and was three levels, the main, the balcony and the basement which was where the children did Sunday school. Our guide told us that military used to use the pool on the bottom floor to swim, although now the pool is closed. The church in this current state has been here since August 31, 1913. The view from the second floor balcony was amazing and glad I got this panoramic shot. This church was a major hub of community. Downstairs in the basement was a wall with all the outstanding members and had clips about their roles.
Next stop to view the monument of the first millionaire black man, Bill “Gooseneck” McDonald. I didn’t get a good clear shot since we couldn’t enter the graveyard during this time. This past weekend I watched a talk about him from the Fort Worth Library. I am interested in knowing about all successful people, worth a watch especially how Bob Ray Sanders and Jan Jones speaking about him. Plus I dig this about his monument from Hometown by Handlebar : At Oakwood William Madison “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald is said to have chosen for his final resting place a hillside where this thirty-eight-foot-tall obelisk can look down upon the North Main Street lodge hall of a different fraternal lodge—the Ku Klux Klan. The final laugh.
I got several shots from Evan’s Plaza – I went through and took a picture of every single carved in historical marker so definitely go down there to read. There is not much in this area currently but the City of Fort Worth has created plans to use this area, a former nightlife entertainment district, for retail with professional offices in the future. Right now this space looks perfect for an outdoor concert! There isn’t much in terms of structure for a stage for the main area has a lot of grass area for picnicking behind it. There are memorials along the sidewalk commemorating performers of the past.
Last place was the Lenora Rolla Heritage Center Museum, a gallery inside of a house with four large rooms on the bottom. I wish I had more time because I really do just stare at art.
I take a great interest in art and getting to see new artists was awesome. All of our guides knew so much and had awesome personalities that this was lot of fun.
I found this great video that goes over these spots! Our tour guide was a blast & at one point she told us to shut up till we got to our next stop. We all laughed because we were all listening so it might have seemed like we were not paying attention.
Glad I got to take this bus tour. You can join the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society and sign up to be a volunteer on their website. I am thankful for these members to show us a side of Fort Worth I have never gotten seen. I like how the City of Fort Worth is helping preserve this history for generations to come.
Let me know in the comments how you celebrated Black History Month this year!
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