By Mario Marcel Salas
After the Battle of the Alamo, slavery was reestablished and Juan Seguin was charged with trying to recover escaped slaves that joined Santa Anna’s Army or escaped to Mexico. Mexican soldiers often hide blacks until the Texas settler slave catchers left the area. According to archaeologist George Nelson, in his book titled, The Alamo and Illustrated History (2009), General Santa Anna just a few days after the fall of the Alamo issued and order freeing all slaves in Texas. Santa Anna was known for freeing slaves where ever he went in fighting Anglo settlers.
According to Phillip Tucker, PhD, the Battle of the Alamo lasted between 20 and 30 minutes for the defenders that decided to stay. Almost 120 decided to leave the Alamo and were killed by Santa Anna’s all black regiment (Los Moreno’s Libres de Vera Cruz), the Free Blacks of Vera Cruz. For those that left the Alamo in an attempt to make it to Gonzales it took about 2 hours to kill the escapees. Tucker and Nelson both put Mexican causalities at roughly 300. Tucker asserts that about half of that number was killed by friendly Mexican fire as most of the fighting took place in the dark hours of early morning.
In 1854, Adolph Doui’s Newspaper, The Zeitung, opposed slavery while it was printed in San Antonio and later on his press machinery which was sold continued anti-slavery articles in New Braunfels, Texas. The newspaper had to be protected from pro-slavery mobs associated with the Know Nothing Party and the KGC.
In 1874, one section of the Street Car Line was referred to as the “From Africa to Mexico Line” as described by local riders. This was because one section of the line went from the black community on the Eastside, on Nolan Street, to the Mexican American community on the Westside. The rail line was segregated with blacks and some darker-skinned having to ride in the rear of the train.
In 1898, James Steptoe Johnston, the founder of St. Phillips College was a pro-segregationist Episcopalian Bishop. Before his position in the church he was a Confederate soldier that was captured and imprisoned during the Civil War. Johnston believed that blacks needed to serve the needs of whites and so started the school to teach only vocational skills thus denying blacks access to academic curriculum. St. Philips College would remain the segregated school for blacks while San Antonio College was the college for whites.
In 1936, G.W. Bouldin once lived at 1730 East Houston Street. He died on July 5, 1936 after having had a very robust life. He came to San Antonio in 1908 and worked as a Pullman Porter for the railroad, an occupation that many blacks in San Antonio had at the time. He was born in Hondo, Texas and soon after coming to San Antonio established a black newspaper called the San Antonio Inquirer. It was while he was the editor of the paper that the Bureau of Investigation began harassing him for articles that appeared in his paper critical of the treatment of black soldiers at Fort Sam Houston that were eventually hanged on the Salado Creek for their part in protecting the black community of Houston G.W. Bouldin was tried and convicted under the Espionage Act in 1919 and sent to Leavenworth Prison. Bouldin was a militant fighter in the black community and refused to listen to sell outs who wanted blacks to forget their history. G.W. Bouldin refused to give up even after serving his time in prison. Bouldin went on to become a builder, a real estate man, a mortician, and a newspaper man. In fact, Bouldin operated and owned funeral homes throughout the state of Texas and established Mount Zion Funeral Parlor with the famous businessman Frank E. Lewis in San Antonio.
In San Antonio there was Norris Weight Cuney Elementary was on Iowa Street. It is now Friendship Baptist Church once headed by Pastor Ruben Archield Sr. According to San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) records a school for African American students opened as Santa Clara Public School in May of 1902. This two-room school was moved to Iowa as the “Cuney Annex” in 1923 and in 1932 went to 935 Iowa Street. Unfortunately, Cuney was closed in order to follow a racist desegregation order than ended up destroying a black institution. It is important to note that the Santa Clara School became Burnet Elementary in 1931.
Dillwood Hall Elementary was in operation between 1924 and 1930. It operated at 225 Connelly Street at the corner of Martin Luther King (formally Nebraska Street) and Connelly Street. Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High opened in 1916 at 2212 W. Poplar near and around the old Newcombville area. James Newcomb was the Union registrar of black voters immediately after the Civil War in 1867. The school closed in 1933 but reopened in 1937. In 1944, Dunbar was moved to 1723 Ruiz Street and a new building was erected in 1951. Dunbar was destroyed because of an anti-segregation order. Black schools were often erased under the guise of integration. Blacks were given integration at a price that included the destruction of black educational institutions and memories.
Abraham S. Grant Elementary, which was originally called the San Pedro School because of its location near Newcombville and San Pedro Park, was opened in 1888 on the grounds of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church. The school was relocated to the corner of Salinas and Leona Streets in 1890. This school would change names several times in honor of its principals between 1890 and 1913. Grant Elementary would become S. J. Sutton, J. R. Morris, JT Walton, H. M. Tarver, and S.H. Gates. S.H. Gates is now located on the Eastside but few know that it was once Grant Elementary.
In 1900, Grant Elementary was once named after African American Revolutionary War hero Crisps Attucks at one point. The school was finally named after the pastor of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Abraham S. Grant who is buried at the historical African American cemetery at Montana and S. New Braunfels Streets. The school was move again to Las Moras and Morales Streets in 1923 and served as a high school. The names of these streets are Arabic in origin and means “Black.” Finally, it was again moved to 1015 Elmendorf in 1936. Moving Black schools was sometimes the result of racist whites wanting black schools away from white neighborhoods, and was also attempts to erase black educational institutions. Phyllis Wheatley High School was established in 1934 and was integrated and was moved to Brackenridge High School in 1970. The school was returned as a middle school after community protest.
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In an editorial on Rep. Will Hurd’s page he announced it’s time to serve his country in a different way.
August 1, 2019 Editorial (https://hurd.house.gov)
There are many reasons why I love America. I have learned over my three terms in Congress, by representing people that voted for me, didn’t vote for me or didn’t vote at all, that America is better than the sum of its parts. Serving people of all walks of life has shown me that way more unites our country than divides us. This understanding has allowed me to win elections many people thought I couldn’t, especially when the political environment was overwhelmingly against my party.
In this experiment called America we strive to create a more perfect union. Our founding principle of a right to free speech has given us the freedom to disagree, and the resulting competition of ideas has produced policies tackling a variety of problems. As has happened many times throughout our history, we now face generational defining challenges at home and abroad.
We are in a geopolitical competition with China to have the world’s most important economy. There is a global race to be the leader in artificial intelligence, because whoever dominates AI will rule the world. We face growing cyberattacks every day. Extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunity and violence in Central America is placing unbearable pressure on our borders. While Congress has a role in these issues, so does the private sector and civil society.
After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.
I left a job I loved in the CIA as an undercover officer to meet what I believed to be a need for new leadership in Congress on intelligence and national security matters. I wanted to help the Intelligence Community in a different way by bringing my knowledge and experience to Congress. I’m leaving the House of Representatives to help our country in a different way. I want to use my knowledge and experience to focus on these generational challenges in new ways. It was never my intention to stay in Congress forever, but I will stay involved in politics to grow a Republican Party that looks like America.
As the only African American Republican in the House of Representatives and as a Congressman who represents a 71% Latino district, I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it. Folks in these communities believe in order to solve problems we should empower people not the government, help families move up the economic ladder through free markets not socialism and achieve and maintain peace by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys. These Republican ideals resonate with people who don’t think they identify with the Republican Party. Every American should feel they have a home in our party.
While I have 17 months left in my term, I’m very proud of the last 55. There were times when it was fun and times when it wasn’t. When people were mad, it was my job to listen. When people felt hopeless, it was my job to care. When something was broken, it was my job to find out how to fix it.
When border patrol agents weren’t getting the tools they needed to do their job, I stepped in to help. When I found an opportunity to expose more students to computer science, I partnered with non-profits to train local teachers to incorporate coding into math class. I made sure taxpayer money was used more efficiently by changing how the government purchases IT goods and services.
It was never about the size nor difficulty nor sexiness of the problem; It was about making a difference. My philosophy has been simple. Be honest. Treat people with respect. Never shy away from a fight. Never accept “no” or the status quo and never hesitate to speak my mind.
NoTwo centuries ago, I would have been counted as three-fifths of a person, and today I can say I’ve had the honor of serving three terms in Congress. America has come a long way and we still have more to do in our pursuit of a more perfect union. However, this pursuit will stall if we don’t all do our part. When I took the oath of office after joining the CIA, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies. I took the same oath on my first day in Congress. This oath doesn’t have a statute of limitations. I will keep fighting to ensure the country I love excels during what will be a time of unprecedented technological change. I will keep fighting to make certain we successfully meet these generational challenges head on. I will keep fighting to remind people why I love America: that we are neither Republican nor Democrat nor Independent; We are better than the sum of our parts.
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