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Dallas Activist and Community Organizer Dies at 100

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Photo of Eva McMillan | Image from the Dallas Post Tribune

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Dallas well-known street activist and community organizer, died Sept. 23 after celebrating her 100th birthday in May.

In May 1921, Eva Partee McMillan was born in Bradford, Tennesse. In the 1930s, her family moved to Dallas’ White Rock community, where they spent years fighting over a farm they owned. Then, they eventually settled in Freedman’s Town north of downtown Dallas. 


McMillan was a preacher’s wife when she became a street activist and community organizer about eighty years ago. At the time, she was a young mother who could no longer ignore the inequities surrounding civil rights around her. 

McMillan was given the nickname “Mama Mac” by many who knew her works. One of her children, Jacqueline McMillan Hill, said that McMillan got the nickname from people in the civil rights movement due to her aggressive stance on issues. 

McMillan is survived by four children — Jacqueline, Katherine, Marion Ernest Jr., and Karen. She also left behind ten grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. 

Ahead of her birthday, McMillan’s children recalled how their mother worked hard to set things right in the world as they were growing around the 1940s. She worked on registering new Black voters and collecting poll taxes to make people see that suppression tactics would not stop them. 

McMillan’s son Ernie spoke of his mother’s integrity in her 100 years of life and how it should be an inspiration to not only the Dallas community but the entire nation. 

Thomas Muhammad, president of the National Black United Front-Dallas, knew McMillan when he was growing up in the 1960s and had a conversation with Texas Metro News about her. He described her as “articulate, passionate and always humble.” 

Black and Clark Funeral Home will handle McMillan’s funeral, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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