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Christia Adair Papers

Identifier: MSS 0109

Scope and Contents

This collection contains documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Documents are in the forms of some personal items from Adair, correspondence to and from Adair, and organizational records from associations and organizations she was a part of. The newspaper clippings are representative of the issues she was concerned about, mainly civil rights, and politics and government. This includes school segregation and integration, youth and education, the democratic party, and election results.


  • 1893-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1950s-1970s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Christia Adair Papers must be obtained from the The African American Library at The Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Christia Adair was a black suffragette. In her later life, she actively campaigned for civil rights for blacks in Houston and in Texas. Born in Victoria, Texas in 1893, to uneducated parents, she attended Samuel Houston College in Austin and Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M), attaining a teaching certificate in 1914. After her graduation, she moved to Edna to work as a teacher, marrying Elbert Adair in 1918. The two moved to Kingsville, where she worked with whites for women's suffrage. Although Congress granted women the right to vote, Christia soon found that this act did not include black women. After attending a rally for then-President Warren Harding, who ignored her children to shake the hands of white children standing behind them, Christia became a lifelong Democrat. In doing so, she broke with black political tradition. After moving to Houston in 1925, she became one of the founding members of the Houston branch of the NAACP. She held the position of executive secretary from 1943 to 1955. In 1952, Christia helped form the Harris County Democrats, an anti-segregation section of the local party. She also helped found the Harris County Council of Organizations, which encouraged black voting. In 1966, she and Judson Robinson, Jr. became the first blacks elected to the Democratic Executive Committee. At first the local organization refused to seat them, but relented and said it would allow Adair and Robinson to be seated. Out of principle, she refused, because two other blacks were not allowed to take their seats. After retiring from the NAACP in 1959, she worked as a precinct judge. In addition to political activities, Christia worked throughout her life with the Methodist Church and various women's organizations, such as the National Association of Colored Women's and Girls' Clubs.


3.25 Linear Feet (3 doc boxes, 1 slim photo box, 1 large flax box, 1 scrapbook box)

Language of Materials



Series 1 Documents Sub-Series 1.1 Biographical Materials Sub-Series 1.2 Personal Items Sub-Series 1.3 Correspondence Sub-Series 1.4 Organizational Records Series 2 Photographs Series 3 Newspaper Clippings

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Willie Lee Gay in 1979.

Processing Information

Abra Schnur, August 2018

MSS 0109 Christia Adair Papers
An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Abra Schnur
July 2018
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.

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002