Marker Details

Emancipation Park

3018 Dowling

Houston , 77004

Notes: Per Paul Scott arrangement with Duncan Elliott, marker moved to Harris County Record Center at 4625 Crites due to park renovations, email 08/07/2014; 12/03/2015 Paul Scott email with Duncan Elliott, marker stored with M2L Associates, architecture design consultants
Directions: 3000 block of Dowling, opposite the intersection of the 2400 block of Rosalie; the marker is east of Community Center building, near the Emancipation Park sign, north of the parking lot

Key Time Period: 1866 - 1876 Reconstruction

Corretions/New Research: (1) Line 10 "assocation" should be association

(2) De-ro-loc was not part of No-tsu-oh.

(3) The year 1940 indicates the year a second 'colored-only' park opened in Houston, both parks were still segregated

Marker Text: Many Texas African American communities began to regularly commemorate "Juneteenth" soon after the June 19, 1865, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Galveston by Union General Gordon Granger. Members of Antioch Baptist Church and Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church organized the Colored People of Harris County Festival Association to promote the annual Houston Juneteenth celebration. It soon became apparent that a permanent location for the celebration was needed, and in 1872, the association purchased this ten-acre site for Emancipation Park. The creation of the park as a recreational and educational facility by the organization and its successors so soon after emancipation demonstrates the determination of African Americans in Houston to create an institution that they owned and operated.

The park was the home of the first De-ro-loc No-tsu-oh ("colored Houston" spelled backwards) carnival in 1909. The carnival was patterned after the No-tsu-oh carnival, and included attractions such as a Wild West show and a football game between Prairie View and Bishop Colleges. The park was donated to the City of Houston in 1916, and when Houston parks were officially segregated in 1922, Emancipation Park became the only public park in Houston open to African Americans until 1940.

Through the years, the park has been the site of parades, concerts, movies, classes for youth and adults, and community meetings. Juneteenth celebrations continue at Emancipation Park, which remains an important central gathering place for area African American residents. (2008)

Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)

Key Map Information: 493 Y

GPS Coordinates: 29 44.127, 95 21.872

Precinct No: 1

Marker No: 14937