African American History month

African American History month, also known as Black History Month, was first celebrated during a week of February in 1926 and became a month-long occasion of celebration and remembrance in 1976. The civil rights struggles of African Americans are central to Houston’s history and development as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. In honor of African American History month, the Houston Area Digital Archives invites you to explore the wealth of digital archival materials related to the African American experience in Houston.
The Houston Public Library Special Collections Division also includes The African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston’s first colored public school located in historic Freedman’s Town. Please visit their website at for more information.

Featured Images:


Oral Histories:

“I am standing on the shoulders of many, many great people.
I want my children to stand on mine.”
Paulette Williams Grant

Paulette Williams Grant talks about attending Gregory elementary school during the years of desegregation in Houston and about race relations
in the city during those times.



“The plight of other Houstonians is my responsibility, and while I cannot make the world right for everybody, I’ve got a sense of obligation to do what I can, when I can, how I can.”
Gene Locke

Gene Locke discusses issues about race relations in Houston during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the transformation of the University of Houston, and his involvement in civil rights and politics in the city of Houston. Gene Locke served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Mickey Leland and as the City Attorney
for Mayor Bob Lanier.



“Art has taken me a lot of different places, and it all started right here in the Fifth Ward in Houston, Texas.”
Bert Long

Eldest of four children, Bert L. Long was born in 1940 and raised in the Fifth Ward neighborhood of Houston. As an artist and sculptor he won many awards, including the Rome Prize. The Looscan branch of the Houston Public Library is home to a large mural by Mr. Long.





The Gregory School through the years

Documenting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Civil Rights Movement

Celebrating the Life of C.F. Richardson, Sr.

Additional Resources: