San Antonio Black History Collection now available online
The San Antonio Black History Collection was brought together by Lewis Fisher while conducting research on San Antonio history. Lewis F. Fisher, author and publisher, formed Maverick Publishing in San Antonio, Texas, in 1996. He has written Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage and Crown Jewel of Texas: The Story of San Antonio’s River. 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. The collection has been arranged into the following categories: businesses, churches, clubs and organizations, education, history, military, newspapers and magazines, and photographs. Many of the items in the collection have been digitized and can now be viewed online.
Highlights of the collection include paper fans (or church fans), several African-American church records, and an incomplete run of Snap magazine.
The paper fans are undated, but reflect advertising for several San Antonio, Texas, mortuaries and funeral homes. Church materials include programs for Sunday services, yearbooks, and newsletters. Of note is a ledger for Ephesus Church of Seventh-Day Adventists (1873-1928) that lists church members names and addresses, and in some cases, the dates of death (bulk dates for the records are 1923-1928). This ledger also contains brief synopses of meetings among the reverend, church staff, and elders for the years spanning 1923-1928. A large but incomplete run of Snap magazine covers the years 1955-1966. Snap was a weekly local publication that covered San Antonio politics, social events, and current events in Civil Rights-era San Antonio from an African-American perspective.
Two unidentified photographs; an invitation and a program from local social groups; invitations for commencement ceremonies at Douglass and Harlandale High Schools; an annual bulletin for St. Philip’s Junior College (1946); and a fan advertising Hicks Beauty School round out the collection.