Juneteenth programs focus on role of Black eateries in Civil Rights

Published on June 16, 2021

The City of Fort Worth Diversity & Inclusion Employee Committee is hosting two programs on Thursday, June 17 as a way to honor the spirit of the Juneteenth holiday and a call to action to support local African American-owned restaurants.

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the triumph of the human spirit over slavery. It honors those formerly enslaved African Americans who survived the inhumane institution of chattel slavery and celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.

Upcoming events

  • Black Restaurants that Fed the Civil Rights Movement: A historical presentation and discussion. Learn how restaurants in the South, such as Dooky Chase’s in New Orleans, The Four Way in Memphis and others, became high-profile focal points for the Civil Rights movement through this informative presentation. The program will also include a talk with self-described black culture curator, Deah Berry Mitchell, who will share her insight into the influence that West African cuisine and slavery had on “soul food” and the local black-owned restaurant scene. Register for the program, which be held at noon, Thursday, June 17 via Webex.
  • The Green Book: Guide to Freedom film screening and discussion. This documentary (not rated, 2019, 51 minutes) explores some of the segregated nation’s safe havens and notorious “sundown towns” through witness stories of struggle and indignity as well as opportunity and triumph. The film chronicles how in the 1930s a black postal carrier from Harlem named Victor Green published a book that was part travel guide and part survival guide. It was called The Negro Motorist Green Book, and it helped African Americans navigate safe passage across the U.S. well into the 1960s. View a trailer. Admission is free for this in-person program at 7 p.m. June 17 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center lecture hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. Registration is required. 

Fort Worth, Texas Magazine has compiled a list that showcases some of the area’s most well-known Black-owned restaurants. This list covers a variety of different cuisines, including barbecue, coffee and baked goods, Jamaican and African restaurants, and more traditional southern fare — so there are plenty of options to choose from, including many establishments located within the Fort Worth city limits.

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Community events

In addition to the city programs, there are several community events and activities planned to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19:

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