Black doctors and business owners honored on Fort Worth Heritage Trail – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Black Fort Worth business leaders and doctors who built businesses by helping clients who were turned down are now being celebrated for their efforts.

Tourists and locals who follow the Fort Worth Heritage Trail can now learn about black doctors and entrepreneurs who overcame many challenges, including racism and segregation, to help build the city.

Community leaders and students applauded the sight of two new historic monuments honoring the doctors and business leaders who helped build the Fort Worth they call home.

The father of Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, Dr. Marion J. Brooks, is one of many named on the historical marker.

“He instilled in each of his five children a responsibility to give back to the community that has been so good to us,” said Brooks.

Now, more people will know a lot more about him and the others, thanks to Brooks’ wife.

In Fort Worth, black business leaders and doctors who built businesses by helping clients who were turned down are now being celebrated for their efforts. NBC 5’s Brittney Johnson has the honor for the men and women who paved the way for the success of many others.

Jennifer Giddings Brooks says she was researching the city’s history and the heritage trail during the pandemic.

“I just felt like the black business district was missing,” Giddings Brooks said.

So she got down to business making calls and introductions. On Friday, several partners, including the Fort Worth Chamber and Black Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Capital Bank, unveiled two beacons that will rise on the road to the convention center, honoring the Black Medical District and the Black Business District.

Downtown Fort Worth, near 9th and Jones streets, was once the gateway to a bustling black business district with black-owned restaurants, a hospital, and a hotel.

They are now gone, but advocates and educators like Giddings Brooks are making sure that their stories are remembered.

“One of my favorite quotes is ‘to predict the future you have to celebrate the past’ and you have to know the past,” Giddings Brooks said.

Advocates and educators invited students to participate in the event, hoping to inspire them to work hard and aim high.

“I hope people see that maybe we haven’t gotten anything at some point, but the more we try to achieve what we want, the more we will get,” said Joshua Irving, student at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

You can learn more about the markers and watch a film exploring the history of black medical and commercial districts at FortWorth.com.


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