Texas Southern University has been designated as the official depository of records from the Texas NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). A special presentation was held August 17 in the University’s Robert J. Terry Library. The collection consists of minutes, newspaper clippings, legal documents, brochures, Freedom Banquet programs and photographs, along with digitized images from individual Texas NAACP branches.
“It is important for the papers to be housed at Texas Southern University,” said Gary Bledsoe, Texas NAACP president. “Dating back to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Sweatt v. Painter that successfully challenged the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of racial segregation, these two organizations have been connected in the continuous struggle for equality for all Texans. It is only fitting that our permanent archives be housed here.”
The collection will be housed in library’s Special Collections department. Individual branches and active NAACP members can send their material to Texas Southern to be placed on loan or permanently archived. Texas NAACP archive will join the Barbara Jordan Archives and the Mickey Leland Center as campus resources for research and scholarly activity.
“We want to see these archives grow in volume and technology,” said Cecilia Venable, author, historian and archivist for Texas State NAACP. “Once people know that our records are here at TSU we hope that other people will bring their things that they have from the NAACP. We want to make this the go-to place for scholars who are looking for material to write about this organization. In the future, we hope to digitize the records and make them even more accessible.”
The ceremony was attended by Howard Jefferson, NAACP national board of directors; Dr. James Douglas, Houston NAACP president; Calon Mask-Oats, NAACP unit 6864 president; Dr. Austin Lane, TSU president; Wesley Terrell, acting TSU Board of Regents chairman; James Harris, H-E-B director of Diversity and Inclusion and Supplier Diversity; Dr. Michael Adams, interim dean Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs; Dr. Merline Pitre, interim dean College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences; and Patricia Bernstein, author; TSU Regents Marilyn A. Rose, Samuel L. Bryant, Erik D. Salwen, Sarah D. Monty-Arnoni, Glenn O. Lewis, Derrick M. Mitchell, Oliver J. Bell, and Justin J. Lee.