African descendants have had a presence in Texas for almost 500 years, maybe longer. The territory was the northernmost area of New Spain (Mexico) in 1528 when Esteban (Estevanico), a Moroccan Moor servant, waded ashore with a group of Spanish conquistadors near what is now Galveston Island and established himself as the first known African in what would become Texas. Since, African Americans have contributed significantly in all facets of the building of the Lone Star State -- its infrastructure, image, and culture. For that, the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture is charting every aspect of the black experience in Texas as an online encyclopedia.
Texas Black History Calendar -- Twelve month listings of dates for significant events, people, issues, and more.
Featured Calendar Post for May 15-21:
20 – On this day in 1881, Mary Elizabeth Branch was born to a family of former slaves near Farmville, Virginia. Branch received a bachelor’s degree in 1922 and a master’s degree in English in 1925, both from the University of Chicago. In 1930, the American Missionary Association appointed her president of Tillotson College in Austin, making her the first woman to head an accredited college in Texas. Under her direction the college’s facilities were improved, the library’s holdings were expanded, and the faculty size doubled. She also permitted the organization of fraternities and sororities, and encouraged the formation of academic and athletic clubs. In 1944, Branch helped to establish the United Negro College Fund.
Special Report: Afro-Mexicans — The History, The Culture, The Presence
In this three-part special report, the TIPHC recognizes Cinco de Mayo by looking at the history and range of issues for Mexico's "hidden" population, Afro-Mexicans -- Afro-Mestizos -- now numbering almost 1.5 million. The stories examine the overlapping cultures (food, music, religion, art, etc.) that evolved from the centuries-old presence of Africans in Mexico, beginning in the 16th century (maybe earlier), including their pursuit of official recognition by the Mexican government in the country's census, which finally came in 2015.
Click here for the entries.
Was this information helpful? Provide Feedback or report broken links.