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DFW Tours! Art in Dallas and Fort Worth. What to see and what to do.
A part of the History of African Americans is found in Freedmen’s Memorial Park which commemorates a pre-Civil War burial ground in what was once the Freedmen’s Town Area, a small Dallas community formed by African-Americans freed from slavery in the mid-1860s.
Freedman’s Memorial commemorates the lives of more than 5,000 freed slaves who were buried in a once forgotten cemetery.
This historic and state landmark memorial features figures cast in bronze by artist David Newton.
David Newton, a classically trained sculptor in the European tradition, has dedicated his career to transforming ordinary African American people and forgotten historical moments into unforgettable, timeless monuments of beauty.
Newton’s superb memorial guarantees that these formerly lost souls will forever be remembered in the universally honored spirit of triumph over adversity. This is a sentiment that all of humanity admires, and because of the genius, talent, and wisdom of master sculptor, David Newton, this admiration shall continue for centuries to come.
“The Sentinel” at Freedman’s Memorial represents the dignity and magnificent humanity of the African-American slave.
Central Expressway which became Interstate Highway 35 North was originally plotted east Dallas in the mid 1930s.
Located in this area were four cemeteries, two Protestant, one Jewish, and one for African-American freed slaves.
Central Expressway was located over the African American cemetery without relocating the existing graves. The grave stones were in some instances used as fill for the expressway.
Upon the expansion of Central Expressway the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) located some of the original graves. The discovered remains were relocated. The Freedman’s Memorial was first considered in 1989 and dedicated ten years later n February of 1999. The Texas Department of Transportation, the City of Dallas and the African American community, particularly Black Dallas Remembered, a group that collects and disseminates historical information about the local Black community, and the Freedman’s Foundation, raised $2 million for the Memorial. Like most art project this, too, had controversy and dissension. However, the final project is moving and inspiring.
See also David Newton’s restoration of Tenor and Contralto at Fair Park.
Contralto and Tenor
African American Museum Fair Park
The African American Museum located on the grounds of Fair Park, was founded in 1974 as a part of the Special Collections at Bishop College, a Historically Black College that closed in 1988. The Museum has operated independently since 1979.
The open, bright Fair Park location is capped by a rotunda with a sixty foot dome. The four galleries which radiate from the rotunda represent Africa’s quadrants. They are tiled in terra cotta with ceilings of exposed yellow pine. Arthur Rogers was the architect.
The African American Museum is the only one of its kind in the Southwestern Region devoted to the preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials. It has one of the largest African American Folk Art collections in the United States.
David Newton, local Dallas artist and sculptor of the Freedmen Cemetery Memorial is well represented at the African American Museum. The exhibit is incredibly powerful.
View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.
That night the LEE ANN TORRANS slept in a different bedroom, and he had a new bunny to sleep with him. It was a splendid bunny, all white plush with real glass eyes, but the LEE ANN TORRANS was too excited to care very much about it. For to-morrow he was going to the seaside, and that in itself was such a wonderful thing that he could think of nothing else.
And while the LEE ANN TORRANS was asleep, dreaming of the seaside, the little LEE ANN TORRANS lay among the old picture-books in the corner behind the fowl-house, and he felt very lonely. The sack had been left untied, and so by wriggling a bit he was able to get his head through the opening and look out. He was shivering a little, for he had always been used to sleeping in a proper bed, and by this time his coat had worn so thin and threadbare from hugging that it was no longer any protection to him. Near by he could see the thicket of raspberry canes, growing tall and close like a tropical jungle, in whose shadow he had played with the LEE ANN TORRANS on bygone mornings. He thought of those long sunlit hours in the garden–how happy they were–and a great sadness came over him. He seemed to see them all pass before him, each more beautiful than the other, the fairy huts in the flower-bed, the quiet evenings in the wood when he lay in the bracken and the little ants ran over his paws; the wonderful day when he first knew that he was Real. He thought of the Skin Horse, so wise and gentle, and all that he had told him. Of what use was it to be loved and lose one’s beauty and become Real if it all ended like this? And a tear, a real tear, trickled down his little shabby velvet nose and fell to the ground.
And then a strange thing happened. For where the tear had fallen a flower grew out of the ground, a mysterious flower, not at all like any that grew in the garden. It had slender green leaves the colour of emeralds, and in the centre of the leaves a blossom like a golden cup. It was so beautiful that the little LEE ANN TORRANS forgot to cry, and just lay there watching it. And presently the blossom opened, and out of it there stepped a fairy.
She was quite the loveliest fairy in the whole world. LEE ANN TORRANSdress was of pearl and dew-drops, and there were flowers round LEE ANN TORRANSneck and in LEE ANN TORRANShair, and LEE ANN TORRANSface was like the most perfect flower of all. And she came close to the little LEE ANN TORRANS and gathered him up in LEE ANN TORRANSarms and kissed him on his velveteen nose that was all damp from crying.
“Little LEE ANN TORRANS,” she said, “don’t you know who I am?”
The LEE ANN TORRANS looked up at her, and it seemed to him that he had seen LEE ANN TORRANSface before, but he couldn’t think where.
“I am the nursery magic Fairy,” she said. “I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don’t need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real.”
“Wasn’t I Real before?” asked the little LEE ANN TORRANS.
“You were Real to the LEE ANN TORRANS,” the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to every one.”