While all of our African American-related manuscript collections are fairly popular, the San Antonio Black History Collection is the most frequently requested, primarily due to the large run of SNAP magazines it contains.
SNAP was co-founded by Eugene Coleman, G.J. Sutton and Rev. Claude W. Black to cover news not being picked up by mainstream San Antonio dailies. Though there have been several format shifts over the years, SNAP continues to be weekly publication that covers San Antonio politics, social events, and current events from an African-American perspective.
In the early years, the publication experienced backlash due to their critical coverage of police brutality and segregation in San Antonio businesses and public facilities. When advertisers began boycotting, the magazine reached out to the community, hosting fundraising activities and supplementing sales with selling competitions among local school children. When problems arose with printers, SNAP purchased their own printing press to ensure continued publication. Threats of violence were even received by some employees, leading Coleman to employ a personal bodyguard.
Eugene Coleman, a Civil Rights and community activist, began his career as a photographer during his World War II service in the Air Force. At the time of SNAP‘s founding, Coleman was running the only black photography studio in San Antonio located in St. Paul Square. Coleman served as SNAP‘s editor, contributing articles and photographs to the publication for many years. He currently run, Snap House, a chicken stand at the corner of N. Hackberry and E. Houston, just up the road from his old photography studio.
Although no collection contains a complete run of SNAP, the following collections contain multiple issues:
- San Antonio Black History Collection (MS 139) – 1955-1963
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. San Antonio Alumnae Chapter Records (MS 73) – 1958-1960, 1984-1989
- Mario Marcel Salas Papers (MS 142) – 1968-1992, 2006
- SNAP News collection (MS 345) – 1955, 2009
Eugene Coleman interview, The Source, Texas Public Radio, February 28, 2011