A. E. Warner Collection
Scope and Content Note
The A.E. Warner collection covers mostly his career in sales and various other ventures from 1935-1984. Materials within the collection include an autobiography, business organization papers, copies of sales awards, correspondence, state employment agency licenses, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a sales tax permit.
- Majority of material found within 1956 - 1970
Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the A. E. Warner Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.
By 1965, the major civil rights acts had been passed by Congress and enacted into law. Yet, the impact of centuries of slavery and discrimination remained and countless efforts at the personal and governmental level had to be made to overcome these residual effects. African Americans had been denied advancement in many areas, including corporate management, housing and were denied participation in many aspects of mainstream American life. A. E. Warner attempted to overcome many of these barriers through hard work, personal effort, and business contacts.
A.E. Warner was the first black licensed auto salesman to work for a franchised dealership in Houston. Warner was born in Eddie, Texas in 1912, to Eva Jane and Charley Warner. They moved to Waco to attend a good public school. He graduated from Paul Quinn College and Bishop College where he worked cleaning buildings to pay for his schooling.
He set up store in Easton, a Black town new Longview, Texas, and founded the Black Negro Chamber of Commerce there in 1938. The following year he became principal at Sand Hill High School in Nacogdoches County until 1945 when he left because of the wrong doings in the community. He went to Milwaukee Wisconsin with the intent to attend law school at Marquette University. While there he worked at a steel company and was elected president of the AFL-CIO Labor Union. He moved to Houston in 1946 where he helped C.W. Rice write the Negro Labor News. He returned to working in education for two years and sold cars at night. Making more money in sales, he left education when he was hired as a full time salesman for Simpson Pontiac. Warner’s business grew and he soon became the first Black licensed new car salesman in Houston. His soon became one of the best local salesmen and his work was documented in national headlines. In the fifties and sixties, he was called on by city, county and state officials to help improve race relations. He was a confidant of Mayor Louis Cutrar and served on several committees one of which planned to desegregate local hotels and businesses.
A.E. Warner held positions including President of Negro Chamber of Commerce, 1957-1964, President of Citizens Chamber of Commerce, served on YMCA Board Management, and president of The Business and Professional Men’s club from 1955 to 1957.
.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
Arranged in two series: I. Personal Materials; II. Business Materials
Donated by A. E. Warner, 1984
Processed by: Ron Drees in 2008; Revised by Sheena Wilson, 2020.
- African American businesspeople Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African Americans—Texas—Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Race relations—Texas—Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Segregation Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Warner, A. E. (Arlin Emerson), 1912-1993
- MSS 0141 A. E. Warner Collection
- An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Gregory School Repository