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.



TIPHC Journal of History and Culture


The Journal of History and Culture (JHC) is a peer-reviewed publication of the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture (TIPHC) at Prairie View A&M University. The TIPHC is digitally documenting the almost 500-year history of African American presence in Texas.

Each JHC edition explores multidisciplinary issues related to African American, Latino, Asian, Native American and other Diaspora communities with a specific focus on those issues as they relate to Texas. Contributions from all fields of scholarship are welcome. You may view previous JHC issues here: https://www.pvamu.edu/tiphc/publications/.

We are now accepting abstracts for the next JHC issue scheduled for late Spring 2019 which will focus on “400 years: African American Struggles, Triumphs, and Survival Since 1619.” Our theme is in conjunction with the 2019 quadricentennial commemoration of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English-speaking Colonies which later became the United States. As for Texas, when enslaved people in the Lone Star State were finally informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865, Anglo Texans were sure it was a sign of the apocalypse, “the end of the Negro race.” Yet, we’re still here, still rising.

Click here for submission information.

Essay: “The Day Freedom Came”

Texas slaves were the last in the country to be officially notified of their freedom because of the Emancipation Proclamation. Since, June 19th, “Juneteenth,” has become a sacred day for African-American communities internationally to celebrate community pride and heritage.

But what about that day itself, in 1865, before the traditional parades, picnics and other events? What was the mood in Galveston — in Texas(!) — for the first citizens to hear those glorious, infamous for some, words of freedom? In this well-crafted piece from genealogist and educator Sharon Batiste Gillins, a Galveston native, we get the answers to those questions and more.

“In the days and weeks that led up to the 19th of June, the newspapers were filled with the latest stories, reports and editorials about the end of the War, the beginning of the peace and the imminent freedom of the enslaved Africans. On June 14th. Galveston Daily News reported that Federal troops would soon arrive in Galveston. The announcement quickly spread throughout the white and black community and the city’s residents were overcome with a curious mix of anticipation and anxiety. Uncertainty permeated the air as they contemplated the consequences of the War’s end and the arrival of Federal troops into the city. Each segment of the population experienced a different set of emotions, the unknown and imagined consequences dissected in print from every angle. That is, every angle except that of the enslaved people whose destiny and very lives would be most impacted.”

Read the entire essay here.

DVD: “Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom”

On June 19, 1865 at Galveston, Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army announced that the Civil War had ended and all slaves in the former Confederate states were now free. This was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. However, the enslaved in Texas had never received the news of their freedom.

This DVD, produced by the TIPHC, provides an insightful perspective about this significant day in American history that is often misunderstood and overlooked. This is a compelling program that is popular with school classes and community groups alike.

To order your copy — $15.00 — please contact the TIPHC, 936-261-9836.

For a preview, click here.

Genealogy: Civil Rights history and the family of Judge Willie E.B. Blackmon

The former Houston Municipal Court judge recounts his family’s involvement in two prominent Civil Rights cases, Hall v. DeCuir and Brown v. Board of Education. Read his story here.

bass reevesscott joplincamp logannicksolmecsbessie colemanmarcilite harrisbrownsvillenight train laneDoris MillerMary Branchjack yatesestebanbarbara jordan

“We have a wonderful history behind us. … If you are unable to demonstrate to the world that you have this record, the world will say to you, ‘You are not worthy to enjoy the blessings of democracy or anything else’.”  

Carter G. Woodson, historian  — “The Father of Black History Month”

Support TIPHC Programming and Research

Donate Now

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

Sep. 18

Scott Joplin

On this day in 1899, a copyright was registered for Scott Joplin‘s “Maple Leaf Rag.” The Texarkana native’s ragtime composition for piano is his best-known piece. More than a million copies of the tune’s sheet music was sold encouraging the publication of hundreds of similar pieces as a ragtime craze swept the country. Joplin’s piece was the genre’s biggest hit and became the model for ragtime compositions. The name of the tune was derived from the Sedalia, Mo. social club, the Maple Leaf, where Joplin played. The piece gave Joplin a steady if unspectacular income for the rest of his life. Listen to the song here.


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.

King of Ragtime
Scott Joplin and His Era

Ron Goodwin Blog

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

The revolution “was” televised

September 12th, 2018|Comments Off on The revolution “was” televised

Fifty years ago, black revolutionaries adopted the phrase “the revolution will not be televised” in response to the vast social upheaval of the 1960s. Many Vietnam War protestors believed the new medium of television would be the venue that illustrated the change in American democracy. However, black revolutionaries believed television would not capture the full essence of the movement because the changes that must occur in this society will be live and not scripted by

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