Publication: Published By Samuel Houston College, 1940, Austin
First edition. 8vo. Original red printed wrappers printed in black,, advertisements on inside front and rear covers, 80 pp., foreword, introduction, acknowledgments, illustrated from photographs, portraits, index. Foreword by J. Frank Dobie. Introduction and Acknowledgments by J. Mason Brewer. A rare historical survey of the African-American experience in central Texas, compiled and published by "the Negro History Class of Samuel Huston College," a noted HBCU in Austin now known as Huston-Tillotson University. The work was edited by J. Mason Brewer, an important Texas author and folklorist who was the first African-American member of the Texas Folklore Society. Due to their deep, abiding, and shared interest in folklore, Brewer became fast friends with J. Frank Dobie in the early 1930s, and Brewer tapped Dobie to write the Foreword for the present work. The text is divided into four sections tracing the history of African Americans in Travis County beginning in "Slave Days 1839-1865" and continuing through "The Modern Age 1905-1940." Each section includes biographical passages, as well as information on the religion, education, health, and other aspects of Black life in central Texas. More than half the work is comprised of the fourth section, devoted to the "Modern Age." This section includes detailed passages and statistics on current notable figures, churches, schools, recreational activities, businesses, and more; this final section is effectively a directory of African-American life in and around Austin, as are the advertisements printed on each inside cover. The seventy-plus photographs interspersed throughout feature the Huston College class itself; dozens of portraits of notable citizens past and present; group shots of various organizations; views of schools, camps, funeral homes, and other institutions; a segregated swimming pool; and more. The work was reprinted in 1986. OCLC reports just eight copies of the original 1940 edition, all in Texas institutions. Light vertical crease to the center, covers lightly rubbed with minor wear to the extremities, else a solid very good copy.
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