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Fort Worth is looking to preserve and celebrate its African American history 25

At a public forum held Thursday, officials and residents discussed the proposal to build an African-American museum in Fort Worth and the need for community involvement.

Sociology professor Jason Shelton from the University of Texas at Arlington moderated the discussion and presentation of findings from a community engagement task force. He wants members of Fort Worth’s Black community to be involved in the decision-making process because telling their stories is important.

Shelton says the project, “must preserve and present the history and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on the stories of African Americans in Fort Worth.”

Whether the establishment will be a museum or cultural center is still undecided. There are plans for community outreach and additional forums to help cement that decision soon. Wyona Lynch-McWhite, senior vice president of the Arts Consulting Group that advises communities on such projects, says the community connections are astounding.

“As a person of color hearing the stories of people who have been so instrumental to these communities’ growth and thriving and now these connections across the world… I can’t wait to see what happens next,” Lynch-McWhite said.

Attendees ranging from community residents to city officials were led through a presentation about the timing, funding and space needed for this project. Assistant City Manager Valerie Washington said she’s optimistic about the prospects.

“I think the information today is beyond exciting, I think we finally have something to sink our teeth into as a direction to move forward,” Washington said.

Butler Place, one of Fort Worth’s historically Black and African American communities and landmarks, is one of the top locations that are being scouted for this project.

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