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Black Photographic Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0137

Content Description

This collection is composed of mostly photographic images having to do with African Americans in the Houston area from 1896 to 1968. Some of the items were donated individually, and the donor and record of ownership is unknown. Except for its singular focus on images of African Americans this collection is miscellaneous. Several of the photographs are of Jack Johnson, the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion and a Juneteenth Parade float. Some images are tintypes of well-dressed people in third ward and downtown Houston during the early twentieth century. Materials also include newspaper clippings.

Dates

  • 1896-1968

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these records is by appointment only due to the rare and fragile nature of the materials. Please contact the archivist for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Black Photographic Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

This collection is composed of mostly photographic images material having to do with Blacks in the Houston area. Some of the items were donated individually, and the donor and record of ownership is unknown. Except for its singular focus on images of Black individuals this collection is miscellaneous.

Arthur “Jack” Johnson, is the first black world heavy weight boxing champion, a title he held from 1908 to 1915. Born in Galveston on March 31, 1878 to former slaves, he worked labor jobs in South Texas before he started boxing. Johnson’s career started as a sparring partner and participating in battle royals. He first fought in private fight clubs in Galveston before becoming a professional fighter in 1897. In 1903 he won the Negro heavy weight championship. Within five years, he became the world champion, but had to wait two years before he was given the world title. Often he faced scrutiny for his flashy lifestyle of lavish cars and marriage to white women, which challenged the institution of American racism. Johnson was arrested and jailed for violating the Mann Act, and later served time for domestic violence. He died in a car crash on June 10, 1946 in North Carolina. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump in May 2018.

Extent

.25 Linear Feet (1 box ) : 6 tintypes, 13 photographs

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Collection is arranged by material type

Transfer Note

These records were formerly housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library as MSS 216 Black Photographic Collection and were transferred to the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library in 2019.

Processing Information

Processed by Sheena Wilson
Title
Black Photographic Collection
Subtitle
An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Author
Sheena Wilson
Date
October 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662