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Black History Month

February 12, 2009

In honor of Black History Month, UTSA Archives would like to highlight a few of our collections dealing with African American history and persons.

Helen Cloud Austin
Helen Cloud Austin earned local and national recognition for her accomplishments and dedication as a social worker at the San Antonio State Hospital. Austin was only the second black student ever to attend the University of Louisville’s Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work.
Hattie Elam Briscoe
In 1956, Hattie Elam Briscoe became the first Black woman to graduate from St. Mary’s University School of Law, and was the only Black woman attorney in Bexar County for the next 27 years. Attorney Briscoe has received numerous honors, awards and accolades throughout the region including the Who’s Who in Texas Today award, and Who’s Who in American Law and Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans.
Sterling Houston
Sterling Houston had a thirty-year career in professional theater as an actor, musician and writer in San Antonio, New York and San Francisco. Houston’s writing frequently dealt with post-slavery black identity and the intersections of race and sexuality. A yearly production of Houston’s Black and Blue: 400 Years of Struggle and Transcendence, repertory piece pairing traditional jazz and blues with documents from the American slavery era, is presented in his memory.
National Coalition of 100 Black Women
The San Antonio Chapter of NCBW was chartered April 13, 1996 at a ceremony held in the San Antonio City Council Chambers. The founding Chapter President was State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon. The goal of the San Antonio Chapter is to positively influence the lives of young African American females in San Antonio and to empower African American women in general, to reach their highest potential.
San Antonio Black History Collection
The San Antonio Black History Collection was brought together by Lewis Fisher while conducting research on San Antonio history. The collection is made up of printed materials that reflect African-American life in San Antonio in the 20th century. San Antonio funeral homes, schools, and churches are the major subjects in this material. A large but incomplete run of Snap magazine covers the years 1955-1966.
San Antonio Chapter of Links, Inc.
The San Antonio Chapter of Links, Inc. is a volunteer service organization of African American women. The membership seeks to improve the quality of life for the greater community and its members through education, civic, and cultural activities. The San Antonio Chapter is one of nearly 250 chapters nationwide.
The San Antonio Register
The San Antonio Register, San Antonio’s second black-oriented, locally focused, weekly newspaper first appeared in print on April 10, 1931. The paper has been published consistently since that time, save for a short break from 1978-1979. The Register was published in 1931-1979 under the direction of Valmo Bellinger. In 1979 the Register reopened under Publisher Edwin Glosson.

On our website you can browse a comprehensive list of UTSA’s African American archival collections.

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