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.
Did you know…?
Prairie View A&M University was the first historically black college or university to simultaneously host both Army and Navy reserve officer training corps units.
And, this year PVAMU salutes the 100th Anniversary of its Army ROTC program and the 50th year of the university’s Navy ROTC unit. For that, TIPHC student assistant and history major Zachary Lee has researched and provided content for a new page, “Celebrating PVAMU ROTC and NROTC — History, Honor, and Service to Country.”
The page looks at the history of ROTC programs in general, dating to 1891, as well as how both Army and Navy programs came to be here. We also look at the unit commanders and some of the distinguished program graduates and PVAMU alumni, including seven U.S. Army generals and three U.S. Navy admirals.
Click here to view the page.
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.
Support TIPHC Programming and Research
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this day in 1941 sprinter and football player Homer Jones was born in Pittsburg, Tx. Jones attended Texas Southern University and participated in both track and football. He was a member of the 1962 U.S. Track team and clocked 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard dash, .02 behind the great Bob Hayes. Jones was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1963 but was cut during training camp because of a knee injury, however, he was picked up by the New York Giants. He had a brief, seven-year career, but in 1967 caught 49 passes for 1,209 yards, averaging 24.7 yards per catch, and 13 touchdowns, leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns. For his career, Jones averaged 22.3 yards per catch, leading all receivers with more than 200 receptions.
Books of interest focusing on black history in Texas. Each week, we feature a different title but also maintain a list of suggested readings.
By Mary Beth Rogers
In Barbara Jordan, Mary Beth Rogers deftly explores the forces that shaped the moral character and quiet dignity of this extraordinary woman. She reveals the seeds of Jordan’s trademark stoicism while recapturing the essence of a black woman entering politics just as the civil rights movement exploded across the nation. Celebrating Jordan’s elegance, passion, and patriotism, this illuminating portrayal gives new depth to our understanding of one of the most influential women of our time-a woman whose powerful convictions and flair for oratorical drama changed the political landscape of America’s twentieth century.
Ron Goodwin Blog
Musings on contemporary black history-related topics from the noted PVAMU history professor.
Fifty years ago, in January 1969, Richard Nixon was sworn in as the thirty-seventh president of the United States. His legacy as President was marred by the Watergate investigations and his eventual resignation from office which overshadowed the way in which he won the office. His central campaign rhetoric was designed to garner support from white Southerners (otherwise known in history as the "Silent Majority") whose racial beliefs leaned heavily towards the support of white
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