The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 20
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Cover: Service Station owner Annie Carr Mercer by R. C. Hickman, 1955.
Photograph, 6% x 8% inches. Courtesy R. C. Hickman and the Center for
American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
This striking photograph of a hard-working and prosperous African-
American business owner, taken by R. C. Hickman in Dallas in 1955, de-
fies the commonly held notion that all black people in Texas prior to
the 196os lived in rural poverty. As Barbara Jordan noted about Hick-
man's photographs in her preface to the 1994 TSHA publication, Behold
the People: R. C. Hickman's Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949-1961, where
this image first appeared, "Contrary to the perception that nearly all
black Americans have lived in poverty-and we have all seen our share
of such devastating images-here is an historically significant record of
accomplished, hard-working black middle-class citizens living in the ur-
ban South." This issue of the Quarterly features three articles on the his-
tory of African Americans in urban twentieth-century Texas that focus
on the lives and struggles of accomplished black people in Beaumont,
Austin, and Houston. From labor activists to opera singers, the history of
black Texans in the twentieth century is infinitely richer and more com-
plicated than many would assume. Behold the People, published for the
Center for American History in the Association's Barker Texas History
Center Series, features more than one hundred photographs from the
three thousand images in the R. C. Hickman photographic archive at
the University of Texas Center for American History.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/m1/20/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.