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100 years after his death, a man lynched in Fort Worth gets his first-ever memorial

December 6,2021

See full KERA news article by Miranda Suarez here.

Fred Rouse will be memorialized in Fort Worth this week, exactly 100 years after a mob lynched him.

Rouse was one of thousands of Black Americans lynched in the United States between the Civil War and World War II.

In 1921, workers in the Stockyards were on strike. Meatpacking companies hired non-union workers like Rouse to replace them.

Newspaper accounts at the time claimed that during a clash outside the packinghouses, Rouse shot and injured two white strikers. A mob beat Rouse, and he spent several days recuperating in the segregated basement ward of the county hospital.

Then, on Dec. 11, another mob kidnapped him, brought him to a tree off Samuels Avenue, and hanged and shot him.

A historical marker will soon stand at Rouse’s death site. The Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice (TCCPJ), a nonprofit dedicated to memorializing victims of racial violence, will break ground there on Saturday, exactly 100 years after his killing.

“In perpetuity, Mr. Fred Rouse will not be forgotten,” said Adam W. McKinney, the president of the TCCPJ.

The TCCPJ also plans to develop the site around the memorial, which is currently an empty lot. McKinney said they’ve hired a design firm, and they plan to ask for neighborhood input about what to turn the space into.

The TCCPJ has a full week of events planned to honor Rouse, including a prayer vigil and a march. Before the memorial plaque goes up off of Samuels Avenue on Saturday, a historical marker will also be placed in front of the old hospital Rouse was abducted from. That hospital building is now part of the Bass Performance Hall complex downtown.