Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture

Documenting the complete history of African American Texans


Know your history, know yourself

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.

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Your donations support research, exhibits, documentaries, internships, cultural events, lecture series, film screenings, Journal of History and Culture publications, outreach and much more. For more information on how you can donate to TIPHC, please contact Mr. Michael Hurd, Director of TIPHC, at (936) 261-9836 or mdhurd@pvamu.edu.

Texas Black History Calendar
Featured Calendar Post

yellow rose of texas

Apr 21

This date marks the commemoration of the song The Yellow Rose of Texas. The song grew out of the Battle of San Jacinto when Texas forces led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexican troops of Gen. Santa Anna in 1836 and won Texas’ independence from Mexico. The song is a tribute to a woman (Emily West) who supposedly “entertained” the Mexican general, delaying his preparations for the battle, while the Texians successfully attacked and defeated his army in an 18-minute skirmish.  However, the woman’s true identity and actual role, if any, in the battle is the subject of great debate. Generally, she is thought to have been a light-skinned mulatto, but other theories say she was Hispanic. The songs’ composer is also a mystery, though its original lyrics seem to suggest a black man:
There’s a yellow rose in Texas
That I am going to see
No other darky (sic) knows her
No one only me
She cryed (sic) so when I left her
It like to broke my heart
And if I ever find her
We nevermore will part.


TIPHC Bookshelf

Books of interest focusing on black history in Texas. Each week, we feature a different title but also maintain a list of suggested readings.

Emily D. West and the “Yellow Rose of Texas” Myth

By Phillip Thomas Tucker

For the first time, the true story of “The Yellow Rose of Texas” is told in full, revealing a host of new insights and perspectives on one of America’s most popular stories. For generations, the Yellow Rose of Texas has been one of America’s most popular western myths, growing larger over time and little resembling the truth of what happened on April 21, 1836, at the battle of San Jacinto, where a new Texas Republic won its independence. The woman who has been popularly connected to the story was an ordinary but also quite remarkable free black woman from the North, Emily D. West. This work reconstructs her experience, places it in full context and explores the evolution of a most fanciful myth.

Emily D. West book cover

Ron Goodwin Blog

Musings on contemporary black history-related topics from the noted PVAMU history professor.

Wakanda Forever — Part 2

April 11th, 2018|Comments Off on Wakanda Forever — Part 2

The internet records the following regarding the financial success of the Black Panther as of March 25, 2018: Receipts grossed $631.4million in the US and Canada and a worldwide total of $1.239 billion; The film made $370.5million worldwide in its opening weekend (the 15th largest of all time); Thus far, Black Panther is the highest-grossing solo superhero film and the 3rd third highest-grossing movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU); and In only five weeks after

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