Recently, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, more than 100 residents joined together to clean up one of our historic black cemeteries, the Champion-Macedonia Cemetery near Cavender’s Boot City and Huffines Chevrolet off I-35E in Lewisville.
Young and old worked side-by-side on this holiday to honor those who have been laid to rest at this cemetery – a coming together in a collective effort to make a difference.
While some removed brush and leaves, others cleaned headstones marking many of the 134 graves onsite and removed trash. All gave of their time for the betterment of their community and to honor a piece of our history.
I appreciate each and every one of the volunteers who gave of their time and talents to serve others. Many of those who served did not even know those who had been laid to rest and yet they honored them by their efforts.
This act of service is about the care and love we have for each other. And that is what Martin Luther King Jr. was about – love.
I am so grateful and proud of this community and the love we share for one another!
Also deserving of a special thanks is Jackie Shaw, social justice minister with Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville, for bringing so many together and organizing this event.
I am also thankful to the many sponsors who contributed to the clean-up including Westside Baptist Church, Huffines Auto Dealerships, Amazon Lewisville Hub, City of Lewisville, Davoodi Family Medicine, Jeri Harwell with Republic Services and the Denton-Lewisville Alumni Chapter of Kappa, Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. The Denton County Transportation Authority offered drinks and refreshments and other entities donated coffee and breakfast.
A second cleanup has been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 19 for the Fox-Hembry Cemetery, which dates back to 1845. Originally owned by the Fox family, the first grave was for a 14-year-old child named Malinda, who passed July 14, 1845. Her last name remains unknown.
To reach the cemetery, go north on Mill Street from Main Street (FM 1171) and, just before the railroad tracks, a gravel road known as Whitmore Lane on the left leads into the cemetery.
We welcome volunteers to come and assist with the clean-up of this historic black cemetery. Together, we can accomplish much in an afternoon of service to those who have gone before us.
Honoring our ancestors is an important part of Black History Month as is recognizing our present and the shining light of the youth who will follow.
This year, the theme of Black History Month, which has been officially recognized since 1976, is Black Health and Wellness.
Here are some events planned in recognition of this month.
Winners of photography and art works from the Martin Luther King, Jr. annual contest with the theme of “A World Divided: Tomorrow United” will be on view in The Grand’s Education Wing Gallery through Saturday, Feb. 19. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and during public events at The Grand, 100 N. Charles St. in Lewisville. Visit lewisvillegrand.com or call 972-219-8446.
A Black History Month Family Day is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Music City Mall Lewisville, 2401 S. Stemmons Frwy. Kindred Creatives is hosting a full schedule of events for free in celebration of Black History Month – past, present and future.
A Black History pop-up shop and networking event is set for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6 at the Paez Event Center, 1425 Justin Road, Suite 700, in Lewisville.
Every Thursday in February, residents are invited to the Black History Month Movie Series on the Stage at Grandscape off Sam Rayburn Tollway. Families can gather and enjoy a free movie on the lawn at 6 p.m.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, our own Denton County Office of History and Culture is hosting award-winning author and storyteller Toni Simmons. She will present a program titled Black History: Telling Our Stories. Simmons uses music, rhythm and audience participation to tell engaging stories for all ages. This performance will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom on the second floor.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected] and my office number is 972-434-4780.