Precinct One Celebrates Black History Month

During February, Precinct One will celebrate Black History Month by honoring figures who defied the odds and those presently shattering barriers.

Precinct One Celebrates Black History Month We will highlight places that have strengthened our community for generations and continue to do so today. We are honored to celebrate the local Black community and its contributions to the founding, framework and progress of our area and nation as a whole.

We are surrounded by Black history every day, and the work we do today is only possible because of the sacrifices and perseverance of those who came before us. Houston is home to Freedmen’s Town, where former enslaved people from Texas and Louisiana started their lives after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863 and once news reached slaves in Galveston in 1865. Independence Heights, the first black city in Texas, was founded in 1915 by Black families who settled in the area, which is now part of Houston city limits.

This is just a glimpse of the history on which we stand and live. We honor those who led the way and those who continue to break barriers. Follow along as we share our #PrecinctOneBlackHistory series. #BHM2021 #BHM

Emancipation Park

Photo of Emancipation ParkDid you know that Emancipation park is the oldest park in all of Texas? When President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom to all the slaves in the US, it took two years for the news to reach Texas on what is now known as Juneteenth. In 1872, Reverend Jack Yates helped to purchase land to host a Juneteenth celebration and in honor of freedom they called it Emancipation Park.

For decades, Emancipation Park was the only municipal park Black residents could use. Now it is home to a community center that offers recreational and education programs, historical monuments honoring its origins, and tons of amenities for everyone to enjoy. You can visit Emancipation Park to learn more about it's history and founders.

Heman Sweatt

Photo of Heman SweattWe honor Heman Sweatt for his persistence and courage to go up against unjust laws and fight for his right to equal education, paving the way for generations of Black students including me, a graduate of UT School of Law.

Sweatt’s desire to pursue an education at the University of Texas Law School launched a national battle regarding equal education in America. Sweatt was denied admission to the school in 1946 because he was Black. He refused to accept this decision and with the help of the NAACP and legal counsel took his case to the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case, Sweatt v. Painter. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sweatt and the case was a precedent for the desegregation of graduate and professional schools. Sweatt entered the University of Texas School of Law in 1950.

Please check back throughout Black History Month for more #PrecinctOneBlackHistoryMonth!

More: News & Editorials