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Historic Locations in Houston Texas


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1. Jack Yates House
In 1870 former enslaved person, Rev John Henry "Jack" Yates (1828-1897) used his carpentry and leadership skills to build this home [PHOTO], which was formerly located in the Fourth Ward; Yates was widely respected for his ability to motivate former slaves to get an education, buy land, build homes and vote; Rev Yates helped establish the first Baptist College in the state which opened in Marshall, Texas in 1881; a few years later, 1885, he helped open the Houston Baptist Academy to prepare students for business, industrial trades, and the ministry; call The Heritage Society for tour times; Sam Houston Park at 1100 Bagby; 713-655-1912

2. Freedmen's Town
This historic district was founded just after 1865 and is the oldest African American district in the city; lots of wooden shotgun houses still serve as dwellings; the skyline of downtown Houston grew up as a backdrop on its east side; Rutherford B Yates, son of Jack Yates and the 1st AA printer in Houston lived here; Founderís Memorial Park sits of the northern edge of the district; call for tour info; roughly bounded by I-45, Kirby, Montrose, and Gray; 713-739-9414

3. Dowling Street
One of Houstonís most notable and traditional Black neighborhoods is always worth a visit; when the city was a hotbed of Civil Rights activity in the 1950s and 60s, this area was the locus; while in 2106 Dowling Street, Eldrewey Stearns, George Washington, Jr, Hamah King and others plotted civil rights strategy that successfully desegregated the most of the city; Wesley Chapel AME Church at 2209 Dowling Street was designed by one of the countries first AA architects, William Sidney Pittman; the El Dorado Building on Dowling and Elgin, used to jump to the sounds of big bands in the first half of the 20th century; today there is a youth boxing center and a traditional soul food restaurant on the street; historic Dowling Street begins south of I-45 and extends to Wheeler Street;

4. Emancipation Park
One of the most enduring gifts to Houstonians by Rev Jack Yates and other former enslaved people in 1872 was this park it was purchased for annual Junteenth celebrations; today the park is still widely used and includes ample picnic space and a swimming pool; 3108 Dowling Street

5. Muhammad Mosque #45
Sunday worship at 2pm; minister Robert Muhammad's motto is "set yourself in heaven at once"; 6734 Cullen Blvd, Houston 713-741-2747

6. Houston Negro Hospital

(no map available)
Now called "Riverside General Hospital", the Houston Negro Hospital completed in 1926, is a three-story building in Spanish Colonial Revival style located in the cityís Third Ward; it was the first non-profit hospital for Black patients in Houston, and it provided a place of work for Black physicians; hospital campus is still in use for medical purposes; listed on the National Register of Historic Places; 3204 Ennis Street

7. Independence Heights

(no map available)
The first Black community in Texas was established aroud1908 as middle-class African American families began moving into north Houston; Independence Heights operated as a city from 1915 until its annexation by the city of Houston; it has a Texas Historical Marker at 7818 North Main and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; bounded by N Yale, E 34th and I-610 freeway at 3204 Ennis Street


8. Phyllis Wheatley High School

(no map available)
Most older cities with large AA populations have historic schools which showcased the best and brightest; in Houston this Fifth Ward school was among the best; it includes Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland as alumni since they were Fifth Ward residents; Solo and Market Streets, just south of I-10 freeway


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