It has been an honor to serve as the associate publisher of the inaugural edition of Who's Who in Black Dallas®. Dallas was not the best place for black people in the 1800s and early 1900s, but our ancestors persevered to do great work in the Dallas metro. From the founding of the NAACP after World War I to the creation of the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce at the time of the Harlem Renaissance to the establishment of the Urban League in the turbulent 60s, black Dallas has worked to make a safe, secure and prosperous place for all who call Dallas home.
Who's Who in Black Dallas® gives recognition to those in the metro who dedicate their lives to investing in the community and making us all better off. The black history of Dallas demonstrates that the phrase "seeing is believing" has throughout history been turned on its head by trailblazers in our community. Courageous men and women taught a deep-seated faith that "believing is seeing" either found a way or made a way to achieve amidst conditions others thought were impossible circumstances. The stories highlighted in this book are testimony that life is full of sacrifices. Either you sacrifice for your dreams or you sacrifice your dreams. Every day God blesses you with another day of life, you get a chance to do some good and to make this city a better place. Share these stories with your children and with the youth of our extended village called Dallas to inspire them to aspire for even higher heights.
We inherited the open door to access and equal opportunity because of the sacrifices made by people who came before us. We recognize and celebrate the achievers of today and yesterday. Today, we walk through doors of opportunity opened by others who were never allowed to enter. Our responsibility is to achieve and thrive, while never forgetting to reach back. People migrate to Dallas to pursue their dreams. A vision of a better life brought me to Dallas. Nineteen fortune 500 companies are based in north Texas. The Dallas metro is a favorite place to test market new franchise business opportunities. Let's work to make Dallas an even better place for diversity. The many stories inside this publication are but a few examples of how to negotiate your environment for individual, community and corporate success. I am glad that we can showcase African-American achievement in the Dallas metropolitan area.
Congratulations to all of the honorees and those featured in these pages. This is only the beginning! You are a part of the rich legacy in a long chain of black achievers in Dallas. I'd like to extend a special thanks to our corporate sponsors and advertisers. Every great city has its diversity leaders and champions.
As we celebrate our achievements, we have a great opportunity to be strong role models for our young brothers and sisters. It is our responsibility to insure that the graduation rates for high schools and colleges increase, that the crime rates in our community are reduced, that we address the impact of AIDS, and teach our young people the importance of being responsible and respectful.
I want to thank attorney H. Ron White for his support and agreeing to write the foreword for this issue. Likewise, I want to thank Tom Joyner agreeing to write the introduction. To my local publishing team of Sonia Aikens and the photographer Nakoya Moss, the success of this book would not have been possible without your support. Thank you! Please enjoy this inaugural edition of Who's Who in Black Dallas®, share it with others, for truly, the story continues.