In many ways, Houston is a marriage of opposites – beautiful green space and booming refineries; growing trees and expanding concrete; sprawling suburbs and concentrated neighborhoods; pride in its heritage and a drive for progress.
History and progress have come together in a new Houston project, the Southeast Corridor of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)’s light rail set to open in early 2015. The six stations along the route, connecting to downtown through the EaDo/Stadium stop near BBVA Compass Stadium and ending at the Palm Center Transit Center, will inform riders about the history of African Americans in Houston and Texas.
The stations along the route, many in the predominantly African American neighborhoods, highlight eight different themes of Black History: Pioneer, Community, Emancipate, Educate, Contribute, Protect, Dream, and Empower. Each station’s mural, which envelops the rider waiting on the platform, is designed to evoke a feeling of protection through both the West African belief in the written words’ protective power and the physical windscreen that the mural provides for the visitors. All of these things come together to tell the history of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Want to learn more about the Southeast Line? Visit METRO’s Southeast Line webpage to get construction updates, line facts, and more!
Additional readings related to the topics discussed in the article:
Read more about Carter Wesley in this article from our Civic Leadership issue (Vol. 1, No. 2). “Carter Wesley and the Making of Houston’s Civic Culture Before the Second Reconstruction” by Amilcar Shabazz. Order the entire issue here.
Learn about the fight for equality on the UH campus in “Afro-Americans for Black Liberation and the Fight for Civil Rights at the University of Houston” by Robinson Block. This issue, Confronting Jim Crow (Vol. 8, No. 1), is sold out but can be read online here.
Aimee L. Bachari’s article “Moving Forward: Diversity in Area Studies Programs” celebrates the evolution of the University of Houston’s diverse programs. To read more about UH’s area studies programs and the Road to Tier 1, order the UH Celebrates 85 Years issue here.
The Houston Review, Houston History’s predecessor, featured two articles on the Camp Logan rebellion:
The September 2012 monthly lecture at The Heritage Society was given by Randall Riepe and Jenny Bailey. Click on this link to read the transcript from their presentation, “History, Emotion and Restoration: College Park Memorial Cemetery.”
Houston History’s Oil in Houston issue (Vol. 8, No. 2) features two articles that focus on Freedmen’s Town and Houston’s Fourth Ward. “Freedmen’s Town, Texas: A Lesson in the Failure of Historic Preservation” by Tomiko Meeks looks at the negative impact the city’s growth has taken on this historic neighborhood. Patricia Pando’s article “Two Worlds a Mile Apart: A Brief History of the Fourth Ward” examines the areas early history dating back to Houston’s founding. The entire issue can be purchased here.
Scott L. Stabler’s article, “Free Men Come to Houston: Blacks During Reconstruction” tells of the African American experience in Houston after the Civil War. “In Search of Freedom: Black Migration to Houston, 1914-1945” by Bernadette Pruitt continues the discussion into the twentieth century. Both articles are in the Coming to Houston issue (Vol. 3, No. 1), which can be ordered here.
The history of the Third Ward and its art can be explored in the articles “Third Ward, Steeped in Tradition of Self-reliance and Achievement” by Ezell Wilson and “Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder: Third Ward Art Treasure but a Memory” by Debbie Z. Harwell. Both articles can be purchased along with the Oil in Houston issue (Vol. 8, No. 2) here.
“The Raw Truth: A Conversation with Cheryl Pradia and Ezell Wilson” tells the story of a Third Ward eatery that focused on a raw diet. Read more about food in Houston in the Tickle Your Taste Buds issue (Vol. 9, No. 2), which can be purchased here.
Tomiko Meeks discusses Rev. Lawson and his church in her article “We’ve Come This Far by Faith: Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.” This issue, A Call to Worship (Vol. 8, No. 3) can be purchased here.
- “Eldorado Ballroom” by Leigh Cutler.
- “Jewel Brown: There’s a Light in my Life Shining Over Me” by Dina Kesbeh.
- “Bayou City Jazz Greats” by Andrew Vodihn.
- “For the Love of Live Music: A Sampling of Houston Music Venues, 1930s to 1970s” by Lindsay Scovil Dove.