A fireside chat with Ustadh Usama Canon, Preacher Moss, Imam Khalis Rashaad, ans Sister Sakinah Freeman. A conversation centered on the African American experience, the Islamic influence on it and the way forward.

The Eldorado Ballroom is located at 2310 Elgin @ Dowling just two blocks from the Project Row Houses site. Dowling Street, once considered the main street of black Houston, was once lined with black-owned businesses including department stores, shops, professional offices, restaurants, and numerous entertainment venues large and small. Following the desegregation of public facilities in Houston that started in the 1960s, the street's economic fortunes began to decline as African Americans exercised their freedom to spend their money and live wherever they pleased.

The Eldorado Ballroom was the center of one of the most remarkable musical communities in America, where internationally recognized musicians such as B.B. King and Count Basie performed, and home grown successes like Sam "Lightning" Hopkins, Albert Collins, Conrad Johnson, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Johnny Clyde Copeland, and Joe Hughes all lived and performed within a few blocks of each other. From the late 1930s till the early 1970s, this club was the venue of choice for upscale blues and jazz performances, as well as afternoon talent shows and sock-hops. It was the centerpiece of several profitable enterprises owned by African-American businesswoman Anna Dupree (1892-1977) who wanted to establish a "class" venue for black social clubs and general entertainment. Almost from the beginning, the large building became a symbol of community pride - Third Ward's most prestigious focal point.

The Eldorado Ballroom is once again a prestigious focal point. Project Row Houses' work in urban development through the arts led to the gifting of this historic landmark to PRH in 1999. Our efforts to renovate and return the venerable building to its elite status amongst Houston clubs culminated in the opening of the doors on May 17, 2003 for the first major event held there in over 30 years. Howling on Dowling, a fundraising gala held to fund continuing renovations, was a major success raising $75,000 and more importantly, awareness of what this proud neighborhood institution can do for its patrons and supporters. "The Eldorado Ballroom made us feel like we were kings and queens" says blues vocalist Carolyn Blanchard. "When you went there, from the moment you walked through the door, everything was taken care of. Anna and Mr. Dupree didn't let you want for anything. They would get whatever you wanted for you. We always held our heads a little higher after leaving the Eldorado." Many a head were held high after this night of remembrance, celebration and anticipation. External Event Url
Eldorado Ballroom
2310 Elgin St, Houston, TX, United States