Shankleville is an unincorporated community located about as far east in Texas as a person can go, since in that area the border follows the river which takes a bend to the east. The community is situated in Newton County, a long and narrow county that extends to the Sabine River which at that point marks the border between Texas and Louisiana. Shankleville itself sits a few miles north of Newton, the county seat, and less than ten miles west of the Sabine.
Shankleville was founded by formerly enslaved people, Winnie and Jim Shankle and their friend Stephen Alexander McBride. By this time, many people have heard the story of Jim and Winnie Shankle, but it bears repeating.
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William Elisha King was the publisher of the Dallas Express, an African American newspaper that existed for many years out of Dallas, Texas. Mr. King was a pioneer in this field and the Dallas Express is considered to be the first publication of note to serve the African American community of Texas.
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Matthew Hooks was born to former slaves, Alexander and Annie Clark Hooks in November of 1867 in Robertson County, Texas. He was the oldest of their eight children. His nickname “Bones” came from the skinny build he had as a child. He became a well respected horseman and one of Amarillo’s revered residents during his lifetime.
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The story of Britton “Britt” Johnson is remarkable for many reasons. He was known to have been brave, a loving husband and father and a capable businessman. He was born into slavery although he was a freedman for at least several years before his death. Possibly related to the fact that he was at one time a slave and that his family line seems to have ended without any known descendants, detailed genealogy information about Britt Johnson and his family is still unknown.
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Charley Frank Pride was born on March 18, 1934 to Fowler McArthur “Mack” Pride and Tessie B. Stewart Pride in Sledge, Mississippi. His family survived by being sharecropping cotton farmers. Charley told of wanting to have a career in baseball and initially set out to do so. He left home at sixteen to pursue a baseball career and was a pitcher in the old Negro Leagues following his older brother Mack, Jr.
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