Black History in the Southwest

Black History in the Southwest

The Southwestern United States holds a rich history of Black people who settled, developed, and enriched the land. The holiday of Juneteenth was born in the Texas when U.S. Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, informing the people of Galveston, Texas that all enslaved peoples were free.

Want to learn more? Check out this curated list of scholarship covering the Black Experience in the Southwest:

Brian Behnken, Fighting Their Own Battles: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas, 2011

Brian Behnken, The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations during the Civil Rights Era, 2012

Neil Foley, The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture, 1999

Neil Foley, Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity, 2010

Annette Gordon-Reed, On Juneteenth, 2021

Richard Harris, The First 100 Years: A History of Arizona Blacks, 1983.

Kelly Lytle Hernández, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965, 2017

Gaye Theresa Johnson, Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles, 2013

​​​​​​​Max Krochmal, Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era, 2016

​​​​​​​Julian Lim, Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 2017

​​​​​​​Bernadette Pruitt, The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African Americans to Houston, 1900-1941, 2013

​​​​​​​Gene Santoro, Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus, 2000

​​​​​​​Tyina Steptoe, Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City, 2015

​​​​​​​Andrew Torget, Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850, 2015

​​​​​​​Daniel Widener, Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles, 2010

A black student and a white student in the UA Library, 1955

Through Our Parents' Eyes

Tucson's African American community has been active in documenting its history for many years. In 1996, Louise Glogoff, from Pima Community College, and Stuart Glogoff, with the University of Arizona, worked with local organizations to build a website about Tucson's African American heritage. The website incorporated information gathered in oral histories, materials found in the UA Library's Special Collections and the Arizona Historical Society, and other resources. The website now lives with a catalog of other ethnic groups' histories of Southern Arizona.

The website includes:

  • Lesson Plan Ideas for Grades 6-12
  • Biographies and Oral Histories
  • Photographic Exhibits
  • ...and more! 

Visit: Through Our Parent's Eyes

Juneteenth Educational Videos