Tyler Public Library Celebrates First Black Families In Smith County at Liberty Hall
We Celebrate Black History EVERY DAY Here On Kiss-FM But We're Preparing For Black History Month With Several Events All Across East Texas.
When you drive around North Tyler and other areas of East Texas, you will notice that there was a time when many African Americans owned and operated their own businesses and industry thanks mainly to segregation laws. When you see that history it makes you want to dig a little deeper to find out how these folks came to settle in this area to begin working on their "American Dream". The City of Tyler and The Tyler Public Library will explore that history at a special event.
The City of Tyler will celebrate Black History Month through a program presented by the Tyler Public Library on Friday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. at Liberty Hall.
The program will recognize the first African American families of Tyler and Smith County through a series of presentations. The East Texas Genealogical Society will honor the descendants of early trailblazers from 1846 through 1855. The research on these families was conducted by Dorothy Franks, Founder of the Texas Slaves History and Inventory Preservation Project and Councilwoman Dr. Shirley McKellar who will also emcee the event.
The event is free and open to the public.
The evening will include a dramatic reading of stories of Tyler's first Black families from the book Slave Narratives of Texas, including a reenactment depicting the life of Aunt Cely Goodman and inspirational singing by the North Tenneha Church of Christ male choir.
After the presentation, author Debra Christian will speak about her great-great-grandfather and veteran, Butcher Christian, the first former slave to receive a Texas State Historical Marker. There will be a signing of her book, From Slavery to Bravery, following the event. All proceeds will go to the Tyler Public Library. The Friends of the Library organization will be providing free refreshments.
Liberty Hall is located at 103 E. Erwin St. Doors open at 5 p.m. For more information, contact the City of Tyler Communications Department at (903) 245-9715.