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.

Teresa Graves

Texas Black History Calendar

Featured Calendar Post


Teresa Graves, a singer and actress, was born on this day in Houston, in 1949. Graves was a regular on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” comedy show in 1969 and 1970. She also starred in the television police drama “Get Christie Love” in 1974-75, making her the first African American woman to star in her own hour-long drama television series.

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.

Lay Bare the Heart
An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement

By James Farmer

Texas native James Farmer is one of the “Big Four” of the turbulent 1960s civil rights movement, along with Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. Farmer might be called the forgotten man of the movement, overshadowed by Martin Luther King Jr., who was deeply influenced by Farmer’s interpretation of Gandhi’s concept of nonviolent protest.

Born in Marshall, Texas, in 1920, the son of a preacher, Farmer grew up with segregated movie theaters and “White Only” drinking fountains. This background impelled him to found the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. That same year he mobilized the first sit-in in an all-white restaurant near the University of Chicago. Under Farmer’s direction, CORE set the pattern for the civil rights movement by peaceful protests which eventually led to the dramatic “Freedom Rides” of the 1960s.

In Lay Bare the Heart Farmer tells the story of the heroic civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s.

Ron Goodwin Blog

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


November 21st, 2017|Comments Off on 1917

In August 1917, members of the all black Twenty-Fourth infantry stationed at Camp Logan armed themselves and marched toward the city of Houston. Students of history know how the story ended: court-martials, executions and dishonorable discharges. However, little attention is given to how the story began. Texas was, and still is, a southern state. That means the vestiges of slavery and white-supremacy driven race relations are always simmering beneath the surface. In the first decades

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