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South Dallas mural unveiled celebrating city's Black history

DALLAS - In honor of the Juneteenth holiday, a Absolute Equality-Juneteenth mural was unveiled in South Dallas connecting the city's history to Black history. The mural pays tribute to a long-gone piece of the city's past. It also depicts African Americans who helped Union soldiers during the civil war. There’s a South Dallas tie-in to artist J.D. Moore’s mural recognizing Juneteenth, the federal holiday which represents the two-and-a-half years it took to announce the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas to free slaves. "It took me about a month to actually produce the mural," Moore said. The mural is located at the South Dallas Cultural Center, home to all sorts of local African American art.

"Which is pretty serendipitous because a lot of the inspiration is derived from this neighborhood," Moore said. It recognizes the Hall of Negro Life, a building once at Fair Park dedicated to Black achievement in arts, sciences and more. The hall opened on Juneteenth in 1936 as part of Texas’ centennial celebration, but it was torn down later that year. "I’m a firm believer that art educates," said John Spriggins, the cultural center’s general manager. "Educate people about culture, educate people about life."

Separately, the mural also depicts Black men who helped Union soldiers.

"And these are real people, depictions of real soldiers," Moore said. Moore highlights the heavy emotion on their faces, but he also depicts modern-day people with a different type of energy as they celebrate Juneteenth. "A representation of our joy," he said. A joy accompanied by an understanding of the holiday’s significance.

"I’m hoping that this will be an educational piece," Moore said.

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