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 May 29-June 4:
May 29th -- On this day in 1973, Calvert, Texas native Tom Bradley was elected as the first African American Mayor of Los Angeles. Bradley served for twenty years which is longer than any other mayor of the city. Born the son of sharecroppers and the grandson of a slave in Calvert, Bradley was instrumental in much of Los Angeles’s growth and it’s hosting of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles became the nation’s second most populated city under his administration. Upon retiring from Mayor in 1993, Bradley ran unsuccessful campaigns for Governor of California in 1982 and 1986.
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.
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