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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997

Book Reviews
Black Texans: A History of African Americans in Texas, 1528-1995, second edition.
By Alwyn Barr. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. Pp. x+294.
List of illustrations, preface, bibliographical essay, index. ISBN 0-8061-2878-
X. $15.95, paper.)
Since 1973, Alwyn Barr's groundbreaking work, Black Texans: A History of Ne-
groes in Texas, 1528-197z, was the starting place for scholars to begin any study
of the 400-year black Texas experience. For the last twenty years, there has been
an explosion of articles, books, theses, dissertations, academic courses, and
much more about black Texans, but Barr's book has not been surpassed or re-
placed. Thus, the second edition, with its new chapter covering the period
1970-1995 along with a revised and expanded bibliographic essay, is much
needed and highly valued. A new preface and a revised index are also very help-
ful. This book not only is a detailed chronology but also includes syntheses and
analyses. Endnotes would have been appreciated, but the book is so dense with
information that endnotes and citations, if included, would probably have dra-
matically increased the size of the book.
Black Texans has seven chapters, arranged chronologically beginning with the
colonial period and ending with the last quarter of a century, "People of Strug-
gle and Progress," including the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, D.C.
Other chapters include "Slaves," "Freedmen," "Voters and Laborers" (the Recon-
struction period), "Outsiders" (1900-1940), and "People of Anger and Hope"
(1940s-early 1970s).
Each chapter, beginning with the one on Reconstruction, includes sections on
politics, violence, and legal status; labor and economic status (and later busi-
ness); education; and social life, including religion. This uniform approach facil-
itates the comparison of the status of black Texans over time.
Although the first edition had no women included among its sixteen photos,
the second edition has corrected that with the addition of such outstanding Tex-
ans as Etta Moten, singer and actress; Dr. Mary Elizabeth Branch, president of
Tillotson College and the first woman of any ethnic group to head a senior ac-
credited Texas institution of higher education; Mrs. Charles E. White, who was
the first African American to hold public office in Texas in the twentieth century
upon her election to the Houston School Board in 1958; and former congress-
woman Barbara Jordan.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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