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Civil Rights in Texas
- C.O.P.S./Metro Alliance RecordsCommunities Organized for Public Service (COPS) is an organization of 26 parishes in the predominantly Hispanic, low-income West Side and South Side of San Antonio. Founded in 1974, it is the oldest of the Interfaith Area Foundation (IAF) organizations in Texas and, indeed, in the entire national network. The Metro Alliance, which shares office space and many resources with C.O.P.S., formed in 1989 through a merger of the East Side Alliance, composed of African American and Hispanic low- and lower-middle income churches, and the Metropolitan Congregational Alliance.
- San Antonio Mother's Service Organization RecordsThe San Antonio Mother's Service Organization was formed in 1945, with the help of Rev. Claude W. Black, to curb juvenile delinquency and positively affect youth through cooperation between the home and the community. The organization was the first African American group of Christian women to get a state charter for a local club.
- San Antonio Chapter of Links, Inc. RecordsThe San Antonio Chapter of Links, Inc., is a volunteer service organization of African American women. The membership seeks to improve the quality of life for the greater community and its members through education, civic, and cultural activities.
- Arcenio A. Garcia PapersArcenio A. Garcia was elected mayor of Cotulla, Texas in 1972 as a member of the Raza Unida Party, becoming the first Mexican-American to serve as mayor of the city. In 1976, Garcia was elected County Commissioner of Precinct #3 in La Salle County, Texas. In addition to his positions as Mayor and County Commissioner, Garcia was a member of Barrios Unidos, a public service organization, which he served as Chairperson and Public Official on the Board. He was also editor of the bulletin El Informador (The Informer).
- Jose Angel Gutierrez PapersDr. José Angel Gutiérrez was a leading Chicano activist and political leader in the 1960s and 1970s in Texas. He was also one of the co-founders of La Raza Unida political party that helped to raise public consciousness of Chicano civil rights issues.
- Albert A. Peña, Jr. PapersAlbert A. Peña was born in San Antonio's west side on December 15, 1917. A self-proclaimed "Chicano Activist," Judge Peña has been actively involved in a wide range of liberal social causes, particularly in defending and advancing the rights of Mexican-Americans, throughout his legal and political career.
- Mario Marcel Salas PapersMario Marcel Salas became an advocate for San Antonio's African-Americans in the early 1970s and was a key member of local activist groups such as the San Antonio chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Organizations United for Eastside Development, Black Coalition on Mass Media, and Frontline 2000. He was elected to the City Council of San Antonio in 1997, where he served two full terms as Representative for District 2.
Oral History Interviews
Rev. Claude W. Black:
Black was born in San Antonio on Nov. 28, 1916, the son of a Pullman porter and a housewife. After graduating from then-Douglass High School in 1933, he enrolled at St. Philip’s College. Black earned a bachelor’s degree in 1937 from Morehouse College. He served as pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church from 1949 until he retired in 1998 where he was a major force in ending segregation at lunch counters, theaters and other public accommodations in San Antonio. Further, as a civic leader, he helped lead the struggle to maintain a viable East Side community amid competition from poverty, gangs and family and social disintegration. Black served on the San Antonio City Council from 1973 to 1977 and was its first black mayor pro-temp. As a City Councilman, Black was credited with killing the Good Government League which controlled City Hall for 50 years. Topics: childhood, segregation, racism, unions, career, Mt. Zion Baptist Church (San Antonio, Tex.) The interview below are heavily spiced with cogent philosophical observations where Black emphasizes his own efforts to judge people based on their character rather than their skin color, and his work to build a support system that stresses humanness while disregarding culture, economics and race.
Harry W. Burns:
From a pre-teen in the NAACP Youth Group in Seguin in the 1930s, to a San Antonio community leader in the 1990s, Harry V. Burns marched in and molded South Texas’ Civil Rights era. Burns identifies the individuals and strategies that helped and hampered integration in San Antonio and explains why the city’s experiences were non-violent and, arguably, more successful than those in many other cities.
Rev. Marvin Griffin:
Griffin served on the Austin school board in the 1970s as it worked to integrate Austin schools. Under his leadership, the Ebenezer Baptist Church founded the East Austin Economic Development Corp., which has helped East Austin residents with a variety of needs, from affordable housing to care for the elderly.
A. Maceo Smith:
Dallas Public Radio's Black History Show on the life and legacy of A. Maceo Smith who was active in the civil rights movement in Dallas during the 1930s, including participation of the black community in the 1936 Texas Centennial and the formation of the "Negro Chamber of Commerce and other leagues to champion black rights.
Maintained by UT Arlington, The Tejano Voices Project focuses on one hundred seventy-six oral history interviews with Tejano and Tejana leaders from across the state conducted by Dr. José Angel Gutiérrez.
Includes interviews with a number individuals involved in civil rights in San Antonio:
Albert Peña, Jr.
and many more
- Tejano Voices Project - University of Texas at ArlingtonAudio, transcripts and photographs from the personal recollections of 173 Tejanos and Tejanas and their struggle against racial discrimination in post-World War II Texas.
- Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century (ProQuest History Vault) This link opens in a new windowDigitized primary source material concerning the African American civil rights struggle in two modules: Federal Government Records and Organizational Records and Personal Papers.
- NAACP Papers (ProQuest) This link opens in a new windowCovers 1909-1972. Digitized primary source material from the NAACP. Six modules containing nearly two million pages document the NAACP’s work on behalf of civil rights, including the fight for voting rights and campaigns against segregated education, discrimination and segregation in public places, residential discrimination, discrimination in the workplace and the armed forces, and the campaign against lynching, among others. Also included are the NAACP’s national organizational records, annual conferences, major speeches, regional branch records, and Legal Department files. Use Advanced Search for keyword searching or use the timeline to find records of significant events.
- Claude and ZerNona Black PapersMaintained by Trinity University, the personal papers of the Reverend Claude William Black, Jr. and his wife, ZerNona Stewart Black document their civil rights, community activism, and Baptist ministry activities, predominantly from the 1940s through 2008, in San Antonio, TX.
Click a title to check its availability.
- Black Women in Texas History by Bruce A. Glasrud; Merline PitreCall Number: E185.93 .T4 B55 2008
- In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957 by Merline PitreCall Number: F391 .W575 P58 1999
- Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement by Bruce A. Glasrud (Editor)Call Number: E185.92 .S682 2013
- East Texas Daughter by Helen G. GreenCall Number: E185.93 .T4 G74 2003
- Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist by Cynthia E. OrozcoCall Number: F391.4.S56 O76 2020
- Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868-1900 by Merline PitreCall Number: E185.93 .T4 P57 1985
- Volma, My Journey: One Man's Impact on the Civil Rights Movement in Austin, Texas by Volma Overton; Carolyn L. JonesCall Number: F394.A99 N46 1998
- Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times by Alwyn Barr; Robert A. CalvertCall Number: E185.93 .T4 B54 1981
- The American G.I. Forum: Origins and Evolution by Carl AllsupCall Number: E184 .M5 A7678
- Políticas: Latina Public Officials in Texas by Sonia R. García ... [et al.]Call Number: HQ1236.5.U6 P655 2008
- El Politico: The Mexican American Elected Official by Jose Angel GutierrezCall Number: E184.M5 G87 1972
La Raza Unida Party & Crystal City, TX
- United We Win: The Rise and Fall of La Raza Unida Party by Ignacio M. GarciáCall Number: E184.M5 G27 1989
- Chicano Revolt in a Texas Town by John S. ShockleyCall Number: F394 .C83S56 1974
- Cristal, Ten Years of Struggle: A Photographic EssayCall Number: F394 .C83 C75 1979
- La Raza Unida Party in Texas: Speeches by Mario CompeanCall Number: JK2391 .R39 C66 1970
- League of United Latin American Citizens - LULACThe largest civil rights and advocacy group for Latinos in the United States.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - NAACPFounded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its mission is to ensure equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
- Texas Civil Rights ProjectStatewide community-based non-profit promoting social, racial, and economic justice and civil liberty, through litigation and public education.
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund - MALDEFThe organization focuses on Latino/a civil rights with regards to immigration, voting, education, employment, and political representation.
- Southern Poverty Law Center - SPLCThe SPLC uses litigation, education and other forms of advocacy to fight racial and social injustice. They are known for their "Teaching Tolerance" program and educational materials for all age groups.