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"Coming to Texas, 1528-1836"
Approximately 54% of all enslaved Africans brought to the New
World between 1519 and 1700 disembarked in Spanish America, and
New Spain (Mexico) received its share through the ports of Veracruz  
where Africans were first brought and taken for work in the country's
gold and silver mines, as servants, field workers and other labors.  So
numerous were Africans in New Spain that by 1570 the 20,569
Africans there were three times the Spanish population.
The Africans spread out through New Spain, including heading  
north and across the Rio Grande inter-marrying with indigenous
people, running away from slavery (marronage) and starting their  
own communities. Some became the first black Texans.
This package examines how Africans first came to this part of the

Mailing address:
    Michael Hurd, Director
    Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture
    Prairie View A&M University
    P.O. Box 519, MS 2100
    Prairie View, Texas 77446    
Phone: 936-261-9836      
Unitarian Universal
of Austin
Texas Black History Preservation Project
Documenting the Complete African American Experience in Texas -- "Know your history, know yourself"
Want to submit an entry? See our submissions page for how you can contribute an entry, essay, photo or other pertinent information.

The Houston Riot/Camp Logan Mutiny
The darkest social blemish in Houston's history occurred on the steamy
night of Aug. 23, 1917. The Houston Riot, also called the Camp  Logan
Mutiny, is known as the only race riot in U.S. history where  more
whites (15) than blacks (4) died. The incident led to the largest  court
martial in U.S. military history.
Here, the TBHPP examines that night as well as the events leading to it
and the aftermath that included 19 members of the 24th Infantry (a unit
of the famed "Buffalo Soldiers") being led to the gallows and buried  in
practically unmarked graves at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.  Our
stories include:

  • "Camp Logan Riot of 1917": An essay by Roxanne Evans and
    Michael Hurd
  • Angela Holder, history professor at Houston Community College,
    Central Campus, is a great niece of one of the 24th Infantry
    soldiers hung for alleged participation in the riot. Prof. Holder
    writes a personal reflection on the riots.
  • Expanded Timeline: A history of African Americans in the U.S.
  • The Crisis Report -- Right's activist Martha Gruening reported on
    the Houston violence for the November, 1917 edition of The Crisis
    magazine, the NAACP's influential quarterly publication started
    by W.E.B. DuBois.
  • Video: "Buffalo Soldiers history."
Drawing by Kathleen Howell

"The Emancipation Proclamation --
Freedom Realized and Delayed"
The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation was marked in 2013. President Abraham Lincoln signed the
proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. The order officially freed all slaves within the states or parts of states, basically the
Confederate states, including Texas, that were in rebellion against the Union. However, the proclamation did not
apply to the one million slaves in Union territory who remained in bondage and word of the edict would not
officially reach Texas for another two and half years -- June 19, 1865.
View the TBHPP special package on the
Proclamation and Juneteenth, including an essay, video, and images.
The TBHPP is presenting this wonderful exhibit on the history of African-American
physicians in Texas courtesy of the
Texas Medical Association. Some were born
slaves, such as Franklin R. Robey, MD, of Houston, some were the children of slaves.
Maps, vintage images, and a timeline trace key events starting in 1837 and continuing
until 2009 when TMA elected its first African-American president,
William H. Fleming
III, MD, a Houston neurologist. Click here to view the exhibit.
This Week in Texas Black History -- Jan. 31-Feb. 6
Africans 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 Black History Preservation Project is charting
every aspect of the black experience in Texas as an online encyclopedia.

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TBHPP, The Blog!

Prairie View A&M history professor Ron Goodwin's bi-weekly blog is exclusive to TBHPP, addressing black history and contemporary
African American issues. Follow, comment, and join in the discourse. Read it
#MyUntold -- Wells Fargo Bank storytelling campaign for African Americans
Wells Fargo Bank is giving everyday African Americans an opportunity to tell their stories as a way to present new
and varied perspectives on what it means to be African American. In the company's "#MyUntold" story- telling
movement, members of the community are invited to submit their stories on social media platforms in video,
pictures, or words by using the phrase #MyUntold. To share your untold story, simply enter the phrase #MyUntold
on Facebook, Twitter, etc. To view videos from the campaign, visit the
Wells Fargo YouTube page. For
suggestions on creating and sharing your story, see the Wells Fargo storytelling tip sheet
31 – On this date in 1931, Ernie Banks was born in Dallas. Banks attended Washington High School where he was a multi-sport
star. He played with the
Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs before becoming the first black player for the Major League Baseball
Chicago Cubs. Known as “Mr. Cub,” Banks hit more home runs than anyone else in the majors from 1955 to 1960. He was elected
to the
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
31 – On this date in 1934, Broadway and movie star Etta Moten (born in Weimar) sang for President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
at a White House dinner, marking the first time for an African-American woman to sing at the White House.
31 – Roosevelt Leaks, the first African-American Texas Longhorns player to earn All-America honors, was born on this day in
Brenham, TX, in 1953. Leaks rushed for 2,923 yards and 26 touchdowns in his three seasons at Texas. “Rosey” was a consensus All-
America selection in 1973 and finished third that year in
Heisman Trophy voting. He played nine seasons in the National Football
League with the Baltimore Colts (1975-79) and Buffalo Bills (1980-83).
1 – Jazz pianist great Joe Sample was born on this day in Houston in 1939. Sample, a graduate of Phillis Wheatley High School in
1956, teamed with Wheatley classmates
Wayne Henderson (trombone), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and drummer Nesbert "Stix"
Hooper to form the Jazz Crusaders in the 1960s and the group became wildly successful and critically acclaimed. Sample began
playing piano at age 5, and at age 16 entered
Texas Southern University and studied there for three years before the Jazz Crusaders
left Houston for Los Angeles to begin the group's phenomenal career. Sample was a leader or sideman on multiple gold and platinum
albums and was popular as a studio musician, including for Marvin Gaye's "
What's Going On."
1 – On this date in 1936, Azie Taylor was born in St. John Colony in Dale, Texas, near Austin. Taylor married James Homer Morton
on May 29, 1965, and in 1977,
President Jimmy Carter named her the 36th Treasurer of the United States for which she is still the only
African-American to have held the position. She was a graduate of
Huston-Tillotson University.
2 – In 1995, on this date, Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. became the first African-American to walk in space. A native of Temple, Texas,
Harris was payload commander aboard
Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS-63, the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space
Program. The main objective of the mission was to test systems and techniques to be used on later missions to dock with the
Space Station Mir.
2 – On this date in 1927, musician Ernie Mae Miller was born in Austin. Miller was a graduate of L.C. Anderson High School, which
was named for her grandfather. Miller played jazz, blues, gospel, and swing music and performed with the
Prairie View Co-eds, a
black, all-girl swing band from Texas that toured nationally during World War II.
3 – On this day in 1870 the 15th amendment was ratified ensuring the right to vote to all male citizens of the United States, regardless
of color or previous condition of servitude. The 15th Amendment opened the door for the elections of African-Americans to the
Congress and to Southern local and state offices. Republicans wanted the 15th Amendment passed to obtain the vote of the freed
slaves. However, many women suffragists had worked alongside Black
suffragists like Frederick Douglass to gain the right to vote for
both groups. However, when the 15th Amendment passed, it angered many women suffragists and some of them spoke out against
Black suffrage. Women would not gain the right to vote until 1920.
3 – On this day in 1956, Irma Jean Sephas became first African American undergraduate student at North Texas State University. Sephas, 41, was from Fort
Worth and majored in business with a music minor. She had previously attended
Huston-Tillotson College in Austin.
5 – On this day in 1840, the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed the Law of February 5. Though there were relatively few free blacks in the republic,
legislators concerned over the status of slavery attempted to restrict further the number of free blacks. The law declared that all free blacks who had entered
Texas after the
Texas Declaration of Independence must leave the republic within two years or be declared slaves for the rest of their lives. Those free blacks
who were already in the republic before Texas independence would continue to have all the rights of their white neighbors. Provisions were made for free
blacks who entered later to petition the Congress for exception.
5Alfred Masters, the first African American to serve in the U. S. Marine Corps, was born on this day 1916 in Palestine, Texas.
Masters was sworn into the marines June 1, 1942. After his swearing in, he trained at Montford Point, North Carolina where other
African Americans were later trained (now known as the
Montford Point Marines). Masters eventually rose to the rank of technical
6 Melvin Tolson, writer, educator, and poet, was born on this day in 1898 in Moberly, Missouri. A graduate of Lincoln (Mo.)
University, Tolson began teaching speech and English at Wiley College in 1924. His award-winning debate team, which in 1935 beat
the reigning national champion from the
University of Southern California, had a 10-year winning steak between 1929 and 1939.
Tolson also mentored students such as
James L. Farmer, Jr. and Heman Sweatt. In 2007, his story and his team were portrayed in the
film, “
The Great Debaters.”