Sankofa Journey: a tour through Sherman’s former black business district

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:22 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Saturday, February 4th, Grayson United and the 1930 Sherman Riot Marker Committee are starting Black History Month off with a walking tour throughout Sherman’s former black business district.

Grayson United member, Tangela Douglas said, “There’s a lot of history that we pass by every day and we’re not aware of what happened, and I feel like awareness is important. I want to be aware; I want my children to be aware, and people around me just to know.”

The tour is inspired by the African concept, Sankofa Journey, which symbolizes the importance of learning from the past, taking what is good from it, and bringing it into the future.

Chairperson of the 1930 Sherman Riot Marker Committee, Melissa Thiel said, “This was a thriving black business district, and these livelihoods were just taken during a time of racism and Jim Crow and to show people what was here and to actually let them see it, it makes it more real, and it brings that history alive.”

One of the stops on the tour is the actual building where Attorney William J. Durham worked with Thurgood Marshall on national civil rights cases.

Another landmark highlighted is St. John’s, a church that was targeted by the KKK during the riots.

Douglas said, “And there’s also that crack right there too, where the bomb hit the church, but it’s still standing, it didn’t fall apart.”

The tour will start at 2pm on Saturday, in the parking lot at 200 E. Mulberry St.