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 May 22-28:
May 25th – Pioneering journalist George McElroy, “Mr. Mac,” was born on this day in 1922 in Houston. McElroy was the first black columnist for the Houston Post, and was also the first African-American to earn a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, which he attended on a scholarship from the Wall Street Journal. McElroy began his career at age 16 earning $2 a week writing a youth column for the Houston Informer, the city’s oldest black newspaper. Years later, he became the paper’s executive editor. McElroy, the recipient of numerous honors, taught journalism at Houston’s black high schools, as well as Texas Southern University (his alma mater) and the University of Houston.
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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