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African Texans

By Alwyn Barr

Publication Year: 2004

Immigrants of African descent have come to Texas in waves—first as free blacks seeking economic and social opportunity under the Spanish and Mexican governments, then as enslaved people who came with settlers from the deep South. Then after the Civil War, a new wave of immigration began. In The African Texans, author Alwyn Barr considers each era, giving readers a clear sense of the challenges that faced African Texans and the social and cultural contributions that they have made in the Lone Star State. With wonderful photographs and first-hand accounts, this book expands readers’ understanding of African American history in Texas. Special features include · 59 illustrations · 12 biographical sketches · excerpts from newspaper articles · excerpts from court rulings The African Texans is part of a five-volume set from the Institute of Texan Cultures. The entire set, entitled Texans All, explores the social and cultural contributions made by five distinctive cultural groups that already existed in Texas prior to its statehood or that came to Texas in the early twentieth century: The Indian Texans, The Mexican Texans, The European Texans, The African Texans, and The Asian Texans.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

The Institute of Texan Cultures opened in 1968 with exhibits depicting the cultural groups that settled early Texas. The exhibit displays resulted from a massive research effort by many young scholars into the...

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pp. 3-4

FROM THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY through the twentieth century the lives of African people in Texas changed dramatically. Within this span of four centuries, black Texans contributed to the development and diversity of Texas culture in numerous ways...

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Chapter 1. Free African Americans before the Civil War

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pp. 5-12

THE FIRST AFRICAN who came to Texas landed on the Gulf Coast as one of the few men that survived a Spanish exploring expedition in 1528. Estevan brought with him skills and cultural ideas from Africa and Spain. He could speak Arabic because he had grown up

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Chapter 2. Enslaved African Americans before the Civil War

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pp. 13-30

SLAVERY DEVELOPED on a limited scale in Texas under Spain, and it appeared to be dying out by the nineteenth century. In the 1820s, after Mexico gained independence, the Mexican government abolished slavery but allowed settlers from the United States-...

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Chapter 3. Life after Emancipation

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pp. 31-62

ONCE AFRICAN AMERICANS in Texas became free people they developed goals that tried to overcome the severe limitations of slavery. Black Texans wanted to shape their own families, use their...

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Chapter 4. From Discrimination to Participation during the Twentieth Century

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pp. 63-86

BLACK TEXANS BEGAN the century facing discrimination in jobs, segregation and exclusion in many public places, and limitations on voting. Those problems had begun in the late nineteenth...

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Chapter 5. Voting, Desegregation, and Economic Opportunity in the Late Twentieth Century

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pp. 87-97

AFRICAN AMERICANS living in Texas cities, with their stronger economic base, moved to the front in the struggle for civil and political rights in the United States from the 1920s to the 1950s....

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pp. 99-100

AFRICAN AMERICANS from their first entry into Texas made cultural, economic, and social contributions to the region. In the colonial period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries free-...


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pp. 101-107

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Bibliographic Essay

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pp. 109-115

For those who want to know more about various topics, the following comments are offered as a guide. Major sources used in writing this social and cultural account of African Americans in Texas are included...


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pp. 117-127

E-ISBN-13: 9781603446259
E-ISBN-10: 1603446257
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585443505
Print-ISBN-10: 1585443506

Page Count: 144
Illustrations: 59 b&w photos. 1 map.
Publication Year: 2004

OCLC Number: 774385312
MUSE Marc Record: Download for African Texans

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Subject Headings

  • Texas -- Social conditions.
  • Freedmen -- Texas -- History.
  • Texas -- Race relations.
  • African Americans -- Migrations -- History.
  • Migration, Internal -- United States -- History.
  • African Americans -- Texas -- History.
  • Free African Americans -- Texas -- History.
  • Slaves -- Texas -- History.
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