Alan Brooks, victim of the 1910 lynching, is remembered in Dallas

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Alan Brooks, victim of the 1910 lynching, is remembered in Dallas

Alan Brooks, a Dallas handyman accused of raping a young girl, awaits the start of his trial on March 3, 1910, when a mob stormed the courtroom.

As The Dallas Morning News reported the next day, Brooks, who was black, had a rope tied around his neck and was pulled through a second-story atrium window. His body was then dragged several blocks to Elks Arch, a major landmark in downtown Dallas. Brooks was hanged on a telephone pole and beaten to death at the corner of Main and Accard Streets.

“While the lawyers were preparing the motion, a mob entered the courtroom and killed the defendant,” Judge Robert C. wrote in court records. “case dismissed.”

The arch was demolished less than a year later, but on Saturday morning, a new landmark will be erected where it once stood. At a ceremony at the site of Brooks’ lynching, the Dallas County Justice Initiative plans to unveil a historic marker acknowledging the crime that took place 111 years ago. Local advocates say the marker will be the first of its kind in Dallas County to commemorate a lynching victim.

“Everybody knows JFK was murdered here in Dallas, we have no problem recognizing that part of history,” George Keaton Jr., executive director of the nonprofit organization Remembering Black Dallas, said in a recent interview. said in. “But when it comes to people of our color, the sins and wrongs that white America has done to our people, they don’t want to know.”

Christopher J., chief academic officer of Paul Quinn College in Dallas. According to Dowdy, Brooks was fixing a furnace in the home of a white family on February 27, 1910, when the family’s 3-year-old daughter, Mary Ethel Bevens, went missing. Brooks, who was believed to be 59, was reunited with the baby less than four hours later. For his research project, “Dallas Untold”, Dr. Dowdey combined sensational local writings of the time with court records to provide a textured account of what happened to Brooks.

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After doctors examined the man and the child, Brooks was charged with rape. Dr. Keaton said there was no evidence of that crime and that the child was not hurt.

According to Dr. Dowdy, the Elks Arch, a three-story white, blue and purple structure that marks the main entrance to the city, witnessed an estimated 5,000 people lynching. The names of every county in Texas were engraved on its white metal.

The Dallas County Justice Initiative, also led by Dr. Keaton, worked to secure funding for the marker from the Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project, which “works with communities to build memorials to documented victims of racial violence.” cooperates.”

Brian Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, said in an interview, “One of the great tragedies is that there are many lynchings about which we will never know anything, because there was no way to document them.” “And so this marker for Alan Brooks represents what happened to him, but it also reflects what happened to thousands of other people whose names we will never know.”

Next month, the Dallas County Justice Initiative plans to hold a second ceremony in honor of Reuben Johnson, who was executed in 1874.

“Most Americans know so little about this history when it is so central to the American story,” said Mr. Stevenson.

While the two historical markers would represent only a small fraction of the racial violence that took place in a state where at least 335 lynchings of African Americans took place, Dr. Keaton said, they are much more than imagined 20 years ago.

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“It means a lot to me,” Dr. Keaton said. “That means Dallas has moved on.”

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