William Joseph Durham's Final Resting Place

Chasing Durham 


A Hero of the Ages

While "Chasing Durham" it was difficult to believe that there were no reminders for generation now nor for generations to come of William Joseph Durham's heroic accomplishments and legal causes, as an attorney, that opened many door for so many to enter today.  It was painfully disturbing to find his resting place in disarray.  After researching for weeks and only turning over a few stones it was decided that William Joseph Durham's story would not be found in library archives, nor written on a monument, his bust was not displayed in the halls of law schools for future students to be encouraged and there were no painting of him in any galleries in Texas nor the United States.  Not once during any Black History Month celebrations was his name mentioned nor were there any documentaries written of his contributions to humanity.
The search for William Joseph Durham's legacy began here, at East Mount Cemetery, in Greenville, Texas, where his life work closed on December 22, 1970.
There was no one to blame in this matter but those who were most responsible for his memory and offering to be recalled for generations to come.   So, the turned over stone flower pedestals were lifted, his tombstone was cleaned and polished, the dried layers of grass was removed and once again he would be remembered.  Is this a testimony of how William Joseph Durham's great contributions were removed from the surface so that the children of today would not know about his strength, vigor and might?  However it is that 52 years since his passing that his memory has been literally become almost obsolete?  Is this an issue of the underpinnings of racism, the responsibility of history teachers and university educators, could this be an issue of family honor or just a case of ignorance and lack of discipline to make sure William Joseph Durham's legacy remains present and that his name be remembered throughout the ages.
Here, at his tomb it was clear that history is not to remain in the minds of passing souls but must be written in books, carved in stone, sang during celebrations, painted on walls, sketched on canvas, impelled by slam poets, played on stage and remembered through film.  William Joseph Durham is worthy of being remembered and recalled throughout the ages as a Honorable Man, Generous Soul, United States Veteran, Civil Rights Attorney, son loved by his parents-siblings-country and an Uncle that Encouraged a young girl from Sulphur Springs, Texas to write truth, advocate for righteousness, stand for the unrepresented, speak with courage, respect life and its many gifts given by the men and women that served this nation with their blood, sweat and hope in the midst of the most harshest of circumstances. "Let Freedom Ring"!

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