Black Photographic Collection
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.
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.
.25 Linear Feet (1 box ) : 6 tintypes, 13 photographs
Language of Materials
Collection is arranged by material type
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.
Processed by Sheena Wilson
- African Americans -- Texas -- Houston Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Johnson, Jack, 1878-1946
- Tintype Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Black Photographic Collection
- An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
- Sheena Wilson
- October 2019
- 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 African American History Research Center Repository