African Americans formed a unique ethnic identity in Texas, while facing societal and institutional discrimination and colorism for many years. The first person of African heritage to arrive in Texas was Estevanico, who came to Texas in 1528.
Many African Americans in Texas remained in slavery until after the U.S. Civil War ended. There was little Union Army activity in Texas, preventing them from joining Northern lines. Some escaped over the borders to areas where the Union Army was operating. The announcement of emancipation happened to be delayed until June 19, 1865, when officials announced that slavery had been formally abolished. This is celebrated in Texas as "Juneteenth."