Fort Worth Convention and visitors Bureau Blog

Author: Deah Berry Mitchell

Deah is a local writer who has two books, Cornbread & Collard Greens: How West African Cuisine and Slavery Influenced Soul Food (available online at Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble) and contributing author of Redesign Your 9-to-5: Advice and Strategies from 50 of the World’s Most Ambitious Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. Berry Mitchell is also the founder of The Soul of DFW, a popular touring company that educates the community about Black culture through foodways and local history.

Ask residents of Fort Worth about Viola Pitts and you will likely hear about her tireless efforts to use voting to effect change. Ask people in west Fort Worth’s former resort community of Como who she was, and you will hear a more nuanced and personal description for the passionate activist known affectionately as “the unofficial mayor” of Como. 
Ask any Terrell Heights about their fondest memories growing up in the well-manicured, tree-lined tight-knit community and many will recall the juxtaposition of quaint hole-in-the-wall clubs with steepled red brick centennial churches off Rosedale. It's apparent that this first middle-class Black community in Fort Worth holds special significance to all who know its beautifully quilted history. 
Mrs. Opal Lee, activist, educator and community leader well-known for her contributions in Fort Worth, was born in Marshall, Texas, and lived there for 10 years of her life. Her first recollections of Juneteenth - the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery on the date that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas in 1865 - were of the festivities held at the fairgrounds in the piney woods of her hometown.