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.
Featured Calendar Post for June 26-July 2:
June 27 – Ronald “Ron” Kirk, the first black mayor of Dallas, was born on this day in 1954 in Austin. Kirk is the son of Willie Mae Kirk, a school teacher and civil rights activist, and Lee Andrew Kirk Sr., the first black postal clerk in Austin. Ron Kirk served two terms as Dallas mayor, 1995-2001. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as Texas Secretary of State (1994) under Gov. Ann Richards. Kirk graduated from Austin College in Sherman, and earned his law degree from the University of Texas. He served as U.S. Trade Representative from March 2009 until February 2013, and was the first African American to hold that Cabinet position as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.
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.