HISTORIC SITES IN HOUSTON,TX
Freedmenstown

Founded just after 1865 and is the oldest African American district in the city; lots of wooden shotgun houses still serve as dwellings; the skyline of downtown Houston grew up as a backdrop on its east side; Rutherford B Yates, son of Jack Yates and the 1st African American printer in Houston lived here; Founder's Memorial Park sits of the northern edge of the district; today gentrification is gobbling up the edges of this historic district, which are close to downtown; bounded by I-45 Freeway, Kirby, Montrose and Gray; call for tour info 713-739-9414

Jack Yates House
In 1870 former enslaved person, Rev John Henry “Jack” Yates (1828-1897) used his carpentry and leadership skills to build this home, which was formerly located in the Fourth Ward; Yates was widely respected for his ability to motivate former slaves to get an education, buy land, build homes and vote; Rev Yates helped establish the first Baptist College in the state which opened in Marshall, Texas in 1881; a few years later, 1885, he helped open the Houston Baptist Academy to prepare students for business, industrial trades, and the ministry; call The Heritage Society for tour times; Sam Houston Park at 1100 Bagby; 713-655-1912

2209 Dowling Street
Houston's unofficial headquarters for Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of attorney Eldrewey Stearns, whose office was here; muc of the planning for the first downtown Houston lunch counter sit-in was done here in 1960

Eldorado Ballroom
Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Big Mama Thornton sang at this venue on the Chitlin' circuit; the club was located on the 2nd floor; corner of Dowling and Elgin

Phyllis Wheatley High School
Most older cities with large African American populations have historic schools which showcased the best and brightest; in Houston this Fifth Ward school was among the best; it includes Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland as alumni since they were Fifth Ward residents; Solo and Market Streets, just south of I-10 freeway

Houston Negro Hospital
Now called "Riverside General Hospital", the Houston Negro Hospital completed in 1926, is a three-story building in Spanish Colonial Revival style located in the city's Third Ward; it was the first non-profit hospital for Black patients in Houston, and it provided a place of work for Black physicians; hospital campus is still in use for medical purposes; listed on the National Register of Historic Places; 3204 Ennis Street

Independence Heights
The first Black community in Texas was established around 1908 as middle-class African American families began moving into north Houston; Independence Heights operated as a city from 1915 until its annexation by the city of Houston; it has a Texas Historical Marker at 7818 North Main and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; bounded by North Yale, East 34th and I-610 freeway at 3204 Ennis Street

Galveston, TX

Ashton Villa & Heritage Visitor Center
The Mother location for all Juneteenth celebrations--since Juneteenth began here in 1865; you can take guided tours of this beautifully restored antebellum landmark and grounds; built in 1859, Ashton Villa set the standard for the magnificent mansions before the Civil War; one of Texas' wealthiest businessmen and slave-holders owned the place; how fitting that his mansion should now be home to the Heritage Visitor Center, tours brochures and; adults & seniors $5; students $4, kids under 7 are free; Mon-Sat 10a-5p; Sun 12a-4p; 2328 Broadway; 409-762-3933; http://www.galvestonhistory.org

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