Black History Month Festival Celebrates Community in Arlington and Beyond

For the past eight years the Black History Month Festival has highlighted contributions of the African-American community in Arlington and beyond. This year’s festival will be at the Southeast Branch Library on Sunday, February 25, from 2 to 6 p.m. In addition to performances from local arts groups, displays, and award-winning readings, join us for an in-depth discussion on William Sydney Pittman, the first practicing Black architect in Texas.

John Neal Phillips, an art professor with Tarrant County College, will present a fascinating talk about William Sydney Pittman at 2 p.m. Pittman practiced architecture in Dallas and his buildings were an important contribution to the culture of his time.  His works include churches and other buildings in Texas and nationwide.  Before coming to Texas, he was the first African-American male graduate from the Drexel Institute. He attended and later taught at the Tuskegee Institute.

Pittman married Portia Washington, the only daughter of Booker T. Washington. They moved to Dallas and raised a family of two sons and a daughter, while he operated his practice from home.  Later in life he worked as a carpenter and published a local newspaper “The Brotherhood Eyes.”  He is buried in the Glen Oaks Cemetery in Dallas.  Come discover interesting and unknown facts about a local Texas Black History First individual.

Stay after the speaker and explore special displays, speeches and musical performances though out the afternoon.  Performers will include the TCC SE Jazz Combo, Ousley Junior High Primetime Steppers, Ashworth Elementary Musicians, Bebensee Beats Step Team, Step By Step Dance Studio, and Household of Faith Choir. A special guest will include Animal Services Heritage Team Contest Winner who will present their winning submission. Children can visit the children’s area for special activities.

Black History Month Festival is free to attend and is a come-and-go event. Click here to see the full schedule and plan your day.

 

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