The San Antonio Black History Collection was brought together by Lewis Fisher while conducting research on San Antonio history. The collection is made up of printed materials that reflect African-American life in San Antonio in the 20th century. San Antonio funeral homes, schools, and churches are the major subjects in this material. The collection has been arranged into the following categories: businesses, churches, clubs and organizations, education, history, military, newspapers and magazines, and photographs.
Interviewees discuss the Freedman's Town settlement and neighborhood of Houston. The Fourth Ward in Houston, also sometimes referred to as Freedmen's Town, is one of that city's most important African-American historic communities. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was the center of black cultural and professional life in the city. By the early twentieth century it housed prominent educational institutions and the majority of the black physicians and attorneys, while at night its bars and night spots attracted whites and blacks who came to hear great blues and jazz musicians.
Not one but two civil rights movements flourished in mid-twentieth century Texas, and they did so in intimate conversation with one another. While most research on American race relations has utilized a binary analytical lens—examining either “black” vs. “white” or “Anglo” vs. “Mexican,” this project collects, interprets, and disseminates new oral history interviews with members of all three groups.