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Black Women in Texas History

Edited by Bruce A. Glasrud and Merline Pitre

Publication Year: 2008

Though often consigned to the footnotes of history, African American women are a significant part of the rich, multiethnic heritage of Texas and the United States. Until now, though, their story has frequently been fragmented and underappreciated. Black Women in Texas History draws together a multi-author narrative of the experiences and impact of black American women from the time of slavery until the recent past. Each chapter, written by an expert on the era, provides a readable survey and overview of the lives and roles of black Texas women during that period. Each provides careful documentation, which, along with the thorough bibliography compiled by the volume editors, will provide a starting point for others wanting to build on this important topic. The authors address significant questions about population demographics, employment patterns, family and social dimensions, legal and political rights, and individual accomplishments. They look not only at how African American women have been shaped by the larger culture but also at how these women have, in turn, affected the culture and history of Texas. This work situates African American women within the context of their times and offers a due appreciation and analysis of their lives and accomplishments. Black Women in Texas History is an important addition to history and sociology curriculums as well as black studies and women’s studies programs. It will provide for interested students, scholars, and general readers a comprehensive survey of the crucial role these women played in shaping the history of the Lone Star State.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University


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pp. viii-viii

Within the past three and one-half decades, scholars have amassed a rich body of literature dealing with black women’s history, struggles, survival, and progress. Yet, the literature on black women in Texas leaves a lot to be desired. Ruthe Winegarten, Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trials and Triumphs, is the only topical anthology, and there is ...

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Black Texas Women: Making Community

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pp. 1-12

In Darlene Clark Hine’s fi rst-rate collection of essays, with its aptly named title, Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History ...

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1. Black Women duringSlavery to 1865

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pp. 3-37

Africans and their descendants have been a part of Texas history for as long as Europeans and their descendants have. An African slave named Esteban accompanied the fi rst Spanish expedition and exploration of land that eventually became part of Texas. Like the Spanish and later French explorers, the first Africans in Texas were male. Al-...

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2. Texas Freedwomen during Reconstruction, 1865–1874

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pp. 38-72

Although much as been written on varied aspects of Reconstruction, until recently little in-depth research has appeared in print regarding the lives of freedwomen in Texas after the Civil War; it is an oversight that needs to be corrected. At the end of the Civil War approximately 85,000 to 90,000 slave women resided in Texas, as did only a few free ...

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3. “Us Has Ever Lived De Useful Life”: African American Women in Texas, 1874–1900

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pp. 73-98

As the dust of Reconstruction settled in 1874, Texas freed people found themselves largely dependent upon their own resources. More than 250,000 African Americans lived in Texas, comprising almost a third of the state’s population, and more were arriving from the southeastern United States every day. They were overwhelmingly poor, having ...

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4. Time of Transition: Black Women in Early Twentieth-century Texas, 1900–1930

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pp. 99-128

By 1900, African American women in Texas endured slavery, achieved a limited degree of freedom during Reconstruction, and adapted to their particular role in Texas society in the generation after Reconstruction. Th e succeeding thirty years would be a “time of transition,” in which changes occurred in the lives of numerous black Texas women. The ...

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5. At the Crossroads: Black Texas Women, 1930-1954

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pp. 129-158

Set in motion by the stock market crash of 1929, the Great Depression was one of the most catastrophic periods in U.S. history. All Americans suffered measures of economic dislocation, but none more than the African American female. At the beginning of the Depression, 40 percent of African American women were in the work force. By 1931 ...

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6. African American Women in the Civil Rights Era, 1954–1974

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pp. 159-176

On August 28, 1963, a crowd of more than 200,000 people of different races, ethnicities, and sexes gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In what became a rally, a celebration, the peaceful ...

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7. Expanded Opportunities: Black Women in the Modern Era, 1974-2000

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pp. 177-193

In 1974, the people of the United States experienced a great watershed in American history. Brought before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, President Richard Nixon stood accused of illegal activities connected to the Republican political cover-up of the 1972 Watergate break-in wherein Republican party operatives slipped into ...

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8. Contemporary Black Texas Women: Political and Educational Leadership, 1974-2000

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pp. 194-219

As the American female population approached the last quarter of the twentieth century, it was for them a time of questioning and equivocation. As the epigraph heading this chapter demonstrates, this was especially ...

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Black Women in Texas History: Selected Bibliography

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pp. 221-232

Allen, Ruth. “Th e Negro Woman.” In Th e Labor of Women in the Production of Cotton, 174–208. Bureau of Research in the Social Sciences. Austin: Armstead, Johnnie M. “Black Women and Texas History.” In Bricks without Straw: A Comprehensive History of African Americans in Texas, edited by Ashbaugh, Carolyn. Lucy Parsons, American Revolutionary. Chicago: Kerr, ...


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pp. 233-234


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pp. 235-248

E-ISBN-13: 9781603444095
E-ISBN-10: 1603444092
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603440318
Print-ISBN-10: 1603440313

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 2 tables.
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
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OCLC Number: 607809297
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Black Women in Texas History

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Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Texas -- History.
  • Texas -- Race relations.
  • African American women -- Texas -- Social conditions.
  • African American women -- Texas -- History.
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