Archive | Race & Ethnicity

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Our Spring Issue Is Here!

In conversation and in historical research “place” takes on a variety of meanings. It can represent a physical location, a space within the community, a position in society, or our diverse identities. Exploring Houston history is more than just looking at our location; we consider all the things that make up our environment, from the […]

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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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The IUPLR and History of Houston’s Latin Art Now! Conference

The Latino Art Now! Conference is the signature event of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a research consortium of twenty-six university-based institutes and centers dedicated to addressing the issues impacting Latinos. The University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies is now the new headquarters of the IUPLR and Pamela Anne Quiroz serves […]

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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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Keeping Honor Alive for the 95

In early 2018 archeologists located the skeletal remains of ninety-five individuals on a Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) construction site. Buried in wooden caskets, the deceased are believed to be former slaves forced to work in sugar fields as convict labor on the Imperial Prison Farm. Texas leased out convicts from 1878 to 1910, […]

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Letter from the Editor

What is Houston’s DNA? By Debbie Z. Harwell “Discover your ethnic origins,” find the “source of your greatness,” trace your “health, traits, and ancestry,” and “amaze yourself…find new relatives.” Ads proliferate from companies like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage enticing us to learn more about who we really are. People who send a saliva sample for […]

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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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