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Oral History Interview with Priscilla Graham, June 22, 2016

Description: Priscilla Graham was born in Georgia in 1968. During her childhood, schools were integrated in Georgia, where she experiences protection from both Black and White teachers. Ms. Graham joined the military where she experiences sexism. She attends TSU where she received her degree in accounting. In Houston, Ms. Graham becomes involved at the YMCA across Harris County, working at several branches. She became the executive director of the Houston Texans YMCA in Sunnyside. Ms. Graham has also been involved in the preservation of African American history in Houston, in particularly Freedman's Town. She discusses the different efforts, past and present, to preserve one of the most historic African American neighborhoods in the city.
Date: June 22, 2016
Creator: Enriquez, Sandra; Rodriguez, Samantha & Graham, Priscilla
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Elwyn Lee, June 22, 2016

Description: Elwin Lee was born in Virgina and was raised in Third Ward, a historic African American neighborhood in Houston, TX. He talks about segregation in Houston, the vibrancy of Third Ward, and the Texas Southern University "riot." Lee also discusses how he went to Yale Law School and returned to Houston to become the first African American tenured at the University of Houston Law School. After serving as the director of African American Studies for a couple of years and reviving the program, Lee built upon the student and community relationships he developed at the time to serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs. He discusses how he is currently involved in efforts to bridge the university and Third Ward by figuring out how the school can assist education, health, and economic empowerment.
Date: June 22, 2016
Creator: Enriquez, Sandra; Rodriguez, Samantha & Lee, Elwyn
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Jesse Shead, July 22, 2016

Description: Jesse Shead was born in 1947 in East Austin, a segregated African American neighborhood with thriving businesses. He grew-up going to African American schools, such as Campbell Elementary and Kealing Junior High, and experienced a middle-class lifestyle in his ethnic enclave. Shead went to Anderson High School before its closure and and reopening as an integrate school in 1971. After attending Huston-Tillotson University in Austin for two years, he was employed for the Humble Oil and Refinery Company in Baytown as it was transitioning to Exxon. While in Baytown, Shead witnessed instances of discrimination where he was refused service at local businesses. He talks about how desegregation efforts in Austin lead to the drain of African American professionals in the schools and overall community of East Austin, the weak company union at Exxon, how he was one of the few African Americans to work in the Exxon's processing department, his inability to rent in certain areas of town due to his race, and racial discrimination at Lee High School during the time that his two sons were attending. Shead also describes his unsuccessful bid to serve on the board of regents for Lee College, organizing around the police brutality case of Tyrone Henry, police harassment in African Americans in Baytown, his work for Crime Stoppers, how he participated in gang prevention through education, his involvement in the PTA in the Central Heights community, and how he struggled to address issues concerning lower income students.
Date: July 22, 2016
Creator: Enriquez, Sandra; Rodriguez, Samantha & Shead, Jesse
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library

Oral History Interview with Alphonso Saenz, July 22, 2015

Description: Interview with Al Saenz, a city councilman from Bryan, Texas. In the interview, Saenz discusses his family background, civil rights organizations and the Mexican-American community in Bryan. Saenz also discusses time living in Houston during his childhood.
Date: July 22, 2015
Creator: Saenz, Alphonso & Acuña-Gurrola, Moisés
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library