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 Apr. 16-22:
Apr. 17 – Two-time All-Pro running back Delvin Williams was born on this day in 1951 in Houston. Williams graduated from Kashmere Gardens High School in 1970 and was a Parade Magazine All-American and one of the most sought after prep running backs in the country, recruited by every major college football program. Williams chose the University of Kansas and four years later became a second round pick of the San Francisco Forty-Niners. He thrived in the National Football League for eight seasons, becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season for two different teams (Niners and Miami Dolphins). Williams was also the first player in NFL history to set rushing records for two different teams, and to be named to the Pro Bowl for both an AFC & NFC team.
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.
Books of interest focusing on black history in Texas. Each week, we feature a different title but also maintain a list of suggested readings.
This week: "Cougars of Any Color," by Katherine Lopez (2008)
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