Archive | Communities

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Italians Plant Roots in Houston

Houston, Texas is widely regarded as a city built by immigrants, one whose population is racing towards becoming the most diverse in the nation. People most commonly think of Houston’s immigrant population as coming from Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East in the present day or from Germany in past generations. But if we […]

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Brownwood: From Neighborhood to Nature Center

With hurricanes regularly striking the Texas Gulf Coast, experiencing multiple hurricanes and tropical storms in one’s lifetime has become a rite of passage and a life marker for coastal residents. Even though Texans know how to prepare for these events, each storm has a unique trajectory and damage path, as Hurricane Harvey demonstrated in August […]

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Reverend James Novarro and La Marcha

Baptist minister James L. Novarro and fellow activists left Houston in the sweltering Texas heat in July of 1966, traveling several hours to Rio Grande City in Starr County, where they marched in soldarity with local farmworkers seeking a fair wage. These laborers galvanized national attention when they organized a strike followed by a march, […]

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Houston Area Rainbow Collective History Community-led Archives

Just over a decade ago Houston Public Library’s Jo Collier brought together a group of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community historians,archivists, and scholars as part of the library’s LGBT speaker series. Recognizing commonalities and opportunities in their diverse organizations and programs, the group formed Houston Area Rainbow Collective History (ARCH) as a […]

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El Club Cultural Recreativo México Bello

Founded in 1924, El Club Cultural Recreativo México Bello became a model for many local Mexican American organizations. Still operating today, it reached success and notoriety among Houstonians by creating a familiar environment for Mexican immigrants–a home away from home–and introducing Mexican culture to non-Mexicans. In the process, it made a lasting imprint on Houston’s […]

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Yolanda Black Navarro: East End Reina

  by Denise Gomez A small red building stands out on Navigation Boulevard, luring customers inside with the mouthwatering scent of freshly cooked tortillas. Upon entering, the restaurant’s loyal customers see red and white walls decorated with honors and recognitions, one of Houston’s best menus, and, usually, a line. The family-owned restaurant Villa Arcos was […]

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Gracie Saenz’s Life of Public Service

Although Houston is celebrated as one of the nation’s most diverse cities, it was largely segregated with little intersection across race and ethnicity into the mid-twentieth century. Mexicans and Mexican Americans settled initially in Second Ward, but, as their numbers grew, they moved into First, Sixth, and parts of Fifth Ward, as well as Magnolia […]

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Hispanic Women in Leadership

Mujeres Unidas, Taking the Initiative: The First Decade of Hispanic Women in Leadership By Christian Kelleher On March 11-13, 1988, about 200 women attended the YWCA Hispanic Women’s Leadership in Houston Texas, “Celebrating Excellence.” It had been ten years since the last of such conference. Soon after, twenty of those women, inspired by their experience […]

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