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.

DVD: “Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom”

Juneteenth DVD 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.


Essay: “The Day Freedom Came”

General Order 3

                     General Order No. 3

Granger announced to the Galveston public, on June 19, 1865, as he read from General Order No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” One hundred and fifty-tree years later, we continue to celebrate the day when Texans were the last to be officially notified of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth has since become a sacred day 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. She writes: 

“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.


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“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

June 20

Muhammad Ali

On this day in 1967, a jury in federal court in Houston found heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali guilty of draft evasion. Ali, who had a residence in Houston at the time, was known to the government as Cassius Clay and was sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Ali’s contention was that the draft boards in Louisville, Ky., his hometown, and in Houston had acted improperly by not granting him a deferment as a minister in the Nation of Islam, however, he was convicted of violating the U.S. Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. He had been ordered to report to a Houston induction station on April 28, 1967 and did, but refused to step forward when his named was called, afterwards saying, ”Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.” He was immediately stripped of his boxing license and his title and was banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison as his case was appealed. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and on June 28, 1971 (Clay, aka Ali, v. United States) the Court ruled 8-0, with Justice Thurgood Marshall abstaining, that Ali met the three standards for conscientious objector status: that he opposed war in any form, that his beliefs were based on religious teaching and that his objection was sincere. However, Ali had already resumed boxing on October 26, 1970, knocking out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round.


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.

Juneteenth Texas

Edited by Francis Edward Abernethy, Alan B. Govenar, and Patrick B. Mullen

Ron Goodwin Blog

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

King of Kings

April 23rd, 2018|Comments Off on King of Kings

During his lifetime Martin Luther King consistently paralleled the experiences of the biblical Children of Israel and the experiences of Africans in America. As a result, he thrust himself into the role of Moses. What I find interesting in these parallels was the ultimate goal of the story. The Children of Israel, after 400 years of bondage, eventually made their way to the Promised Land. This was the message that I believe King was ultimately

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