Echoes from the Hill - A Juneteenth Celebration of Arlington's Black History
By Arlington Public Library
Posted on June 16, 2021, June 16, 2021

A documentary film crew sponsored by Arlington's MLK Celebration Committee, Inc. is currently developing a multi-episode history series telling the largely forgotten story of Arlington's Black past, tentatively called Echoes from the Hill.

A documentary film crew sponsored by Arlington's MLK Celebration Committee, Inc. is currently developing a multi-episode history series telling the largely forgotten story of Arlington's Black past, tentatively called Echoes from the Hill.

This Juneteenth, members of that documentary project team will hold a panel discussion from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the Southeast Branch Library, 900 SE Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76018. The crew will share some evocative preliminary research they've gathered in the form of photos, maps, documents, and excerpts from interviews with elders and their descendants.

Together this research reveals a side of Arlington that many today might not recognize—unless it shaped your family's experience here:

• Little known Black-owned stores, juke joints, and secret gambling clubs
• The segregated Booker T. Washington School that went to 8th grade, and how it demonstrated the vital importance of education to Black families in town
• Carpooling twenty miles to attend I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, because hometown Arlington High School did not accept Black students until 1965
• A Ku Klux Klan rally in Arlington's Meadowbrook Park in the 1920's
• Heroic Black soldiers and sailors of WWI & WWII
• Black churches that created and shaped generations of capable leaders

This event will also mark the official launch of the Arlington Public Library's Black History Community Archive. This digital collection, created and hosted by the library, will provide free searchable access 24/7 to many of the historical photos, recordings, and documents that will be featured in the Echoes from the Hill documentary projects.

Come learn about the film project, help the Arlington Public Library launch the digital collection and learn how to contribute your own family stories or contacts to the effort. Please call 817-459-6795 or email LIBLearningDist@arlingtontx.gov if you're interested in participating.

The community is also invited to enjoy live music, poetry readings, dancing, food trucks and more at a Juneteenth Block Party organized by the Arlington Museum of Art and Create Arlington.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19 near the museum and the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library. Vendors and food trucks will be set up along West Main Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic between Pecan and South Center streets. Free parking is available throughout Downtown.

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