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 Oct. 16-22:
Oct. 22nd – Christia Daniels Adair, suffragist and civil rights activist, was born on this day in 1893, in Victoria, Texas. A graduate of Prairie View Normal College, Adair was an elementary school teacher in Kingsville where she organized a group of black and white women to acquire voting rights in 1919. She later became one of the first black women to vote in the state’s previously all-white primary. Adair and her husband relocated to Houston where she would become executive secretary for the Houston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. With the NAACP she led campaigns to desegregate the city’s public schools, libraries, transportation, hospitals and other public facilities. In 1952, Adair help found the first Harris County interracial political group, the Harris County Democrats. In 1977, a Houston city park was named for her.
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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