A Brief History
The history of South Dallas is a story that is held together by the motif of resilience in the face of power opposition.
In the mid-1800s slaves established a way of life at Queen City (a South Dallas neighborhood) in the face of race-based slavery. In the late-1800s the frontier pioneers sought to establish a culture from the unknown of swamplands and natural elements. In the early-1900s the powerful opposition came in the form of social societies that greatly influenced the movement of the city. In the mid-1900s blacks had to be resilient as their houses were being bombed by their unwelcoming new neighbors. In the late 1900s the powerful force was crack cocaine in which residents had to be resilient against its powerful move into the neighborhood. In the early – 2000s the powerful force is financial interest, for some this historic neighborhood and its people pale in comparison to the potential benefits of the real estate in which this area inhabits.
The history can be broken down into four periods: The Establishing Era (1850 – 1936), The Transition Era (1937 – 69), The Rebuilding Era (1970 – 1994), The Contemporary Era (1995 – 2015).
The Establishing Era (1850 – 1936) are the building days of South Dallas up until the historic Texas Centennial which took place in South Dallas. In this period laws, trends and expectations are established that would lay the groundwork for subsequent periods.
The Transition Era (1937-69) is an era where the dominant racial group in the community changed. Blacks struggled to move in and whites subsequently moved out.
The Rebuilding Era (1970 – 1994) is an era where the new predominantly black community sought build in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80s and early 90s.
The Contemporary Era (1995 – 2015) is the era where the idealized version of the future of South Dallas is being pursued. However, there are several different idealizers and the tension rest over which vision should be given priority as South Dallas moves forward.
We hope that church members would minister in this neighborhood with an understanding of the cultural narrative that is the South Dallas/Fair Park community. We pray that through gospel centered lenses we can act as informed agents of reconciliation with this culture. We also pray that individuals would have the grace needed to be resilient in the face of the various trials that they face. Our hope is that God will be glorified, holistic followers of Jesus reproduced, that we would love our neighbors as ourselves and that we would rightly seek the shalom of the South Dallas / Fair Park community.