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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 -- Oct. 19-25
|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," here.
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, D.C.
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
New Entry -- Henry Reeves, first trainer for Longhorns football team
The first black man associated with University of Texas athletics happened not to be an athlete.
However, Henry Reeves – "Doc Henry" – worked as a trainer with the football team during the
program's infancy, as "trainer, masseuse, and the closest thing to a doctor the fledgling football team
ever knew," writes Bill Little, longtime UT Athletics publicist.
A native of West Harper, Tenn., Reeves was the son of freed slaves who migrated to Texas. From
1895 through 1915, he was a fixture with the team during an era when blacks could not attend the
University of Texas and Reeves couldn’t sit in the same rail car as the players, nor could he stay with
them, eat with them, or wait for a train in the same room with them. Yet, "The Longhorn" publication
of 1914, called him, "The most famous character connected with football in the University of Texas."
Read Little's story here about the man he says "touched more football players – with his hands and
with his heart – than any man in the first 20 years of Texas athletics."
TBHPP, The Blog!
We're very happy to announce the addition of an exclusive bi-weekly blog from Prairie View A&M history professor
Ron Goodwin who will address black history and contemporary African American issues. Ron was a military “brat,”
and still considers San Antonio home. An Air Force veteran, he studied at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and
received his undergraduate degree. He has graduate degrees from Texas Southern University. A well-published author,
his books include, "African Americans of Houston," a pictorial history of Houston’s black community and, most
recently, "Remembering the Days of Sorrow," an examination of the institution of slavery in Texas from the perspective
of the New Deal’s Slave Narratives. We hope you will follow, comment, and join in the discourse. Read it here.
22 – Christia Daniels Adair, suffragist and civil rights activist, was born on this day in 1893, in Victoria, Texas. A graduate of
Prairie View Normal College, Adair was an elementary school teacher in Kingsville where she organized a group of black and
white women to acquire voting rights in 1919. She later became one of the first black women to vote in the state’s previously all-
white primary. Adair and her husband relocated to Houston where she would become executive secretary for the Houston chapter
of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. With the NAACP she led campaigns to desegregate the city’s
public schools, libraries, transportation, hospitals and other public facilities. In 1952, Adair help found the first Harris County
interracial political group, the Harris County Democrats. In 1977, a Houston city park was named for her.
22 – In 1936, Bobby Seale was born on this day in Dallas. Seale would become a political activist and revolutionist, and in 1966 co-
founded (with Huey Newton) and was national chairman of the Black Panther Party. J. Edgar Hoover, Federal Bureau of
Investigation director, described the Panthers as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." Seale was also one of
the “Chicago Eight” defendants charged with conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention. Seale was
charged with 16 counts of contempt of court after repeated outbursts during the trial for which he was bound and gagged. He
spent four years in prison. In 1973, he finished second in a run for mayor of Oakland, Ca. Since, Seale has been a community
activist and author. Among his several books are his biography, "Seize the Time," and a cook book, "Barbeque'n with Bobby."
23 -- On this day in 1955, Dallas native Charlie "Choo-Choo" Brackins played the final minutes of a game against the Cleveland
Browns for the Green Bay Packers, making him the fourth black quarterback to play in an NFL game, but the first quarterback
from a historically black college to play in the league. Brackins attended Lincoln High School in Dallas then starred at Prairie View
A&M, leading the Panthers to 33 wins in the 37 games he played. He was a 16th round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1955