Texas Almanac, 1949-1950 Page: 94
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94 TEXAS ALMA~4 AC.-1949-195C.
People of Texas, .sponsored by tne University
of Texas under a grant from. the General
Education Brrd tRockefeller Fzundation) of
New York. It is c'le a l that the tindings of
this survey will be a foundation for more
effective worn toward a hette: understanding
Some of the edueatlnnal istitutlons have
their owvn :programs f goal will, notably the
Texas State Coligs for Wome, at Denton
which focr a number of years has corducted
a summer 'h )l at ta'tillo Mexice
lhe r.egru populatic, constitutes the thiroa
iage classificator. Enumerated at 924.391 in
1940, it is estimrntd at abou' 1,100.000 in
194' 'The tinerease has teen primarily from
excesF of births over deaths Other than
military moverreLto juting the war, there
has nt been eltner a large Inward or out-
ward movement' of the Texas Negro popula-
tion sir:ce 191t' Howevei, there has been a
large intr astate movement from rutral to
urban environment. Ln tails movement the
Negro has been bothn attracted and propelled.
The lig e,tstructlen and Irndustrial develop-
mept programs i-, tne erties have increased
employment opportunities At the same time
the dindling of the cotton acreage has al-
mort eliminated sharecropper tenancy in
which the Negro was a' minant However, a
large population of white farm tenants hate
been similarly affected
The Negro population lies largely in the
easterr. third of the state. In this area most
courties have from 25 to 50 per cent Negro
population dnd three counties (Harrison.
Marion and San Jacinto) had more Negro
than whito poulation by the census of 1940.
* , wth of Negro Population
Ine Oasis of the Negro population was laid
vith the coming of the slate with the white
plartrr prior to the War Between the States.
After the freeing of the slates there as
some migration to Texas b Negroes who
like the whites were looking for greater
economic oppor tunity in Texas' wide spaces.
However, most of the steady increase in
Negro population has been from excess of
ctrths over deaths.
The Nego was an early comer in Texas
It is a matter of historic record that a
'negro slave, Estebanico, as among those
shipwrecked with Cabeza de Vaca on the
coast of Texas in 1528. He was one of the
four who survived the six years of wander-
ing and returned safely to Spanish civiliza-
tion in Mexico
Few Negroes were introduced into Texas
during the period of the Spanish conquista-
dores and padres. But the beginning of
Anglo-American colonization in 1821 soon
brought the Negro slave along with the
southern cotton planter The Negro popula-
tion grew rapidly and probably numbered
10,000 among the tote: population of about
50.000 at the time of the Texas Resolution
As stated above, an Incomplete census in
1847 indicated 39.000 Negro slaves and 96.000
This figure is fa.'iy well corroborated by
tae United States cei.sus of 1850 first after
annexation of Texas, when there were 154.129
whites, 58,038 slave Negroes and 425 free
Negroes, In a total population of 212.592. Per-
centages were 72.5 whites and 27.5 Negroes.
In 1880 there were 1,179,237 white and 393,-
384 Negroes, or 75.2 and 24.7 percntages. (A
.1 per cent of other races had crept into the
picture.) In 1900, there were 2,426,669 whites
and 620,722 Negroes, ot 79.6 and 20.4 per-
centages. Tne figures in 1940 were 5,487,545
whites and 924,391 Negroes, or percentages of
85.5 and 14.4. .See table on page 96.)
The steady decline in percentage of Negro
popultlon came from the fact that the black
race was Increasing almost solely from excess
of births over deaths (somewhat decreased
hy domestic emigration to northern and
Pacific Coast states), whereas the white popu-
lation was increasing from both natural
cause and a heavy influx of domestic and
As in the instance of the Mexican group.
the issue of unfair racial discrminr.atlon has
been raised as between Texas white and
Negro population. However, the problem is
quite different from that of alleged discrimi-
nation against the Texas Mexican, and more
difficult of solution, because it is based on
sharper racial difference and rooted in the
experience and tradition of the Old South
which largely dominates Texan thinking
in the matter.
Texas state statutes require segregation of
white and Negro races, with equal accommo-
dations and services, in schools and colleges,
on common carriers in hostelries and in eat-
ing and drinking places, and under other cir-
cumstances in line with the general practice
in Southern States. There is less well-defined
segregation of white and Negro dwelling
areas in cities and towns. This is by zoning
restrictions, title requirements and public
The Texas laws on segregation have been
upheld by the United States Supreme Court
on condition that their provisions for equal
conditions for each race (in public education.
on common carriers, etc.) be provided. It
has been largely on the contention that equal
conditions are not maintained that an attempt
has been made during the last few years to
break down the Texas statutes.
Poll Tax Issue.
The issue of political discrimination through
the levying of a poll tax as a requirement
foi voting is generally misunderstood. There
is no distinction as between white and black
under the constitutional provision which was
adopted in 1902 after the poll tax had been
let ied a aa revenue measure for many years.
It is argued that discrimination lies in the
fact the Negro is usually less able to pay the
$].50 tax ($1.75 wheie the county levy is as-
sessed) and there is truth in this, though
the poll tax is of inconsequential effect in
keeping from the polls anyone who really
wants to vote
Actually. it has been the policy of the pre-
dominant Democratic party in barring Ne-
groes that has kept them from the primary
elections This policy was voided by the
United States Supreme Court. While there is
still some white sentiment against Negro vot-
ing in the party primaries, it is not true in
most counties, and the Texas Negro vote in
both Democratic primaries and general elec-
tions has been increasingly heaty.
Steady progress toward a better racial un-
derstanding has been made in recent years.
Unfair distribution of the state's apportion-
ment of public school funds, which has been
common in some counties, is being corrected.
White and colored teachers' salaries have
largely been equalized on basis of equal quali-
fications. Common carrier accommodations
for Negroes have been improved. Better
higher educational provision has been made.
A Texas State University for Negroes was
established at Houston by the Fiftieth Legis-
One of the bright aspects of the situation is
the basic condition of good individual per-
sonal relationships between w whites and blacks
despite political, economic and social differ-
Future Population Growth.
The past population growth of Texas has
been sustained primarily by the development
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Texas Almanac, 1949-1950, book, 1949; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117167/m1/96/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.