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Black History Mural Project

Our next mural project will honor and celebrate the history and culture of Sherman's Black community with a six-part, themed installation on a proposed site along Travis Street.  Art Reveal coming by end of July 2024!!

Sherman Black History Mural Series

Led by the Sherman Cultural District and City of Sherman, Texas, six different designs are in production for a mural series in Downtown Sherman that will commemorate significant cultural history of African Americans in the City of Sherman. The project is funded in part by a State Cultural District Program grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and additional support from Austin College’s Legacies of American Slavery grant.

The mural series will add to the collection of public art in the Sherman Cultural District.  Each design depicts one of six themes pre-selected for this project. The murals are intended to honor and celebrate two aspects of African American history in Sherman:

(1) commemorating the lost Black-owned business district that was thriving in early 20th century Sherman, prior to a devastating race riot in which a mob set fire to and destroyed most of the businesses; and (2) remembering a musical heritage including jazz artists and performers who came through Sherman. 

The Designs

DESIGN THEMES

I. Commemoration of the Andrews Building in East Sherman and the various Black-owned businesses located there. The building served as the hub of a thriving Black business district of several blocks before it was burned to the ground by a mob in a 1930 race riot.

II. Recognition of Sherman resident William J. Durham, pioneering African American attorney known for his civil rights work with future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall on the case Brown v. Board of Education, among others. Durham’s later legal work helped end segregation at the State Fair of Texas.

III. Recognition of distinguished medical professionals in the Black community in the early 1900s, including physicians and dentists who lived and worked in East Sherman.

IV. Portrayal of community life: schools, churches, and neighborhoods of the African American community, prior to the 1930 race riot or afterward as the community slowly rebuilt from the devastation.

V. Commemoration of African American musicians born in Sherman, particularly jazz saxophonist Buddy Tate and trumpeter Teddy Buckner.

VI. Acknowledgement of Black musicians known to have performed in Sherman in the 1960s and 1970s, including B.B. King, Al Green, Tina Turner, and more.

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