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111 years later, a memorial marker is up for a man lynched in downtown Dallas

The Dallas County Justice Initiative on Saturday morning dedicated a marker for Brooks at Main and Akard Streets.

DALLAS — More than 111 years after he was lynched in downtown Dallas, a memorial for Allen Brooks now marks where it happened.

The Dallas County Justice Initiative on Saturday morning dedicated a marker for Brooks at Main and Akard Streets, detailing what unfolded there on March 3, 1910.

Brooks, a handyman, was accused of raping a young girl. But Dr. George Keaton, Jr., with the county Justice Initiative, said there was no evidence that Brooks assaulted the girl. 

Still, he was arrested and charged. On the day of his trial, a mob of about 3,000 men stormed the Dallas County courthouse and took Brooks from law enforcement.

They tied a rope around his neck and threw him out of a second floor window of the courthouse, fracturing his skull, according to the Justice Initiative. 

The mob then dragged Brooks to the intersection of Main and Akard, where they hanged him from a telegraph pole.

An estimated 5,000 people watched the lynching, some taking pieces of Brooks' clothing as souvenirs, according to the memorial marker. No arrests were made.

Christopher J. Dowdy, vice president of academic affairs at Paul Quinn College, also detailed what happened to Brooks, including archived photos from the day of his lynching, in his Dallas Untold project.

Following the ceremony dedicating the marker Saturday morning, Ed Gray with the Dallas County Justice Initiative said, “This is an effort, historical activism, in which we need to make sure we reach back into history, so we don’t repeat it. And this is one of the steps today." 

“They say a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step and this was that step. Making sure that the City of Dallas, making sure the State of Texas, making sure that America recognizes the humanity of Allen Brooks," he continued. 

Gray said there have been at least four lynchings in the City of Dallas, and the Justice Initiative has an event planned to memorialize the lynching that occurred in the Trinity Park area. 

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