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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
|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
- 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.
In recognizing the 127th anniversary of the founding of the Lone Star
Medical Assn., the TBHPP is presenting a wonderful exhibit on the
history of African-American physicians in Texas. Courtesy of the Texas
Medical Association, the digital exhibit highlights the struggles of early
Belvedre Neal, the first African-American to practice medicine in Texas
in 1882 in Goliad. 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
This Week in Texas Black History -- Aug. 17-23
|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.
Texas Black History...Now
History-related news and events from African American communities around the state
Subscribe to our
newsletter, it's free!
Starita Smith, Ph.D., looks at an often overlooked aspect of the Underground Railroad that saw thousands of
slaves escape bondage and flee to non-slave states or across the U.S. borders to freedom. The more popular
Northern routes channeled many escapees to Canada, but a lesser known Southern path went through Texas
and ended in Mexico. Smith writes, "Slavery was a primary motivation for the opening of the West, but just as
in so many other foundational events in the history of the U.S., the slavery question is often overlooked when
western history is discussed, and so is the southern route of escape from enslavement that thousands of
Africans took through Texas into Mexico." Read her entry, "A Southern Route of the Underground Railroad,"
Wells Fargo and the Houston Museum of African American Culture are
presenting "African American Treasures from The Kinsey Collection," from Aug.
2-Oct. 26. The Kinsey Collection is one of the largest private collections of African
American art and spans over 400 years of black history. For the HMAAC, the
showing celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The museum is located at 4807 Caroline Street.
The Kinsey Collection, on a multi-city national tour, includes artifacts and works
of art commemorating the artistic, historic and cultural contributions of African
Americans. The exhibition seeks to dispel myths and promote dialogue about the role
of African Americans in the making of America.
The exhibition's combination of original documents, rare books, paintings, early
photographs and modern sculptures is meant to create a unique and diverse
experience, bringing history to life through art and artifacts. Included are seldom
displayed artifacts, such as an early edition of Solomon Northrup's "12 Years a Slave,"
the basis of the Academy Award-winning film. Works from Houston artists John
Biggers and Lionel Lofton will also be featured.
The Kinsey Collection has been viewed by over 3 million people and was on
display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington,
The collection is owned by Los Angeles philanthropist, entrepreneur, and
management consultant Bernard W. Kinsey who has consulted on economic
development with the governments of South Africa, Germany, the U.K., and France
and was appointed Honorary Consul General by the U.S. State Department and the
Central African Republic. In 20 years with the Xerox Corporation, Kinsey was one of
the pioneers in breaking down racial barriers in corporate America and holds the
distinction of achieving number one status in every sales and marketing position he
held from 1968 through 1984.
Renowned Kinsey Collection on
display in Houston, Aug. 2-Oct. 26
18 -- On this day in 1935, Rafer Johnson was born in Hillsboro, Texas. Johnson was the gold medalist in the decathlon at the
1960 Olympic Games in Rome. That same year, he received the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award as the nation’s outstanding
amateur athlete. In 1984 he lit the torch signaling the opening of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
23 – Members of the Third Battalion of the 24th Infantry (Buffalo Soldiers) were involved in the Houston
Riots on this day in 1917. Also known as the “Camp Logan Mutiny,” men from the all-black unit
violently marched on the city of Houston in response to racist treatment from the city’s white citizens,
and especially the persistent verbal and physical abuse from Houston policemen. As a result of the two-
hour incident, which became known as the only “race riot” in U.S. history in which more whites (15)
than blacks (4) were killed, 19 black soldiers were court-martialled and hung. It was the largest court-
martial in military history and the largest murder trial in U.S. history. (See TBHPP stories about the
Houston Riots below.) Other related links: