The Handbook of African-American Texas features more than 850 entries, including more than 300 new articles and dozens of images, that chronicle the individuals, communities, businesses, institutions, organizations, and events that comprise the African-American experience and its significant contribution to the heritage of the Lone Star State.
This project was envisioned in 2011 by then TSHA President Merline Pitre, a professor in the Department of History and Geography at Texas Southern University. Pitre, Project Director of the Handbook of African-American Texas, acknowledges the struggles and accomplishments of blacks in Texas and the need to preserve this history:
While African-Americans have been subjected to slavery, segregation, and discrimination during this long history, they have made significant contributions to the growth and development of Texas. They have influenced Texas policies and social standards. Living and working with other ethnic groups, they have helped create a unique Texas culture....This Handbook is initiated to capture, to create greater awareness, and to increase research on the roles and contributions that Afro-Texans (individuals, groups, and organizations) have made to their neighborhoods, cities, state, and often the nation and beyond.
Historians from across the state have contributed new scholarship in the making of this resource, and the Handbook of African-American Texas, as a dynamic medium, will continue to add new articles and images in the future.
In celebration of the African-American heritage of Texas, the Handbook of African-American Texas officially launches on Juneteenth.