Mamie L. McKnight
Civic and Volunteer and Family Leadership
Dr. Mamie L. McKnight has three underlying themes in her professional and volunteer career: 1) commitment to family and community development; 2) dedication to historic preservation; and 3) a desire to educate Dallas youth. Dr. McKnight is regarded as a true historian of Black Dallas.
She is founder of Black Dallas Remembered, Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of Dallas heritage, especially the legacy and importance of the African-American community. Its goal is to uncover black participation in the history of Dallas through four areas: structural preservation, research, publication and free educational activities targeting youth.
Perhaps one of Dr. McKnight’s most challenging endeavors revolved around the Texas Department of Transportation and City of Dallas’ planned expansion of Central Expressway. Freedman’s Cemetery, a cemetery for more than 8,000 of Dallas’ earliest black residents (many former slaves), would have been unearthed and destroyed by the expansion. Under Dr. McKnight’s direction, Black Dallas Remembered, Inc. initiated an investigation of the breadth of this historic gravesite. Dr. McKnight played a key role in the coordination, archiving and relocation of graves to help preserve an important part of Dallas’ heritage.
Dr. McKnight is President of GEM-MAC Consulting, a family-owned firm specializing in education, community development, African-American heritage and preservation.
Her organizational activity includes serving on the boards of Friends of Fair Park, the Texas CAN Academy, National Women’s Museum Local Advisory Committee, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Historical Commission Review Board. She also served as chairman of the Dallas Landmark Commission. In 1999 Governor George Bush appointed Dr. McKnight to serve a six-year term on the Texas Historical Commission.