History of African Americans in San Antonio

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Many African Americans in Texas remained in slavery until after the U.S. Civil War ended. There was scarce Union Army activity in Texas, preventing them from joining the Northern lines. During the Reconstruction Era, newly emancipated African American slaves began moving from rural areas in Texas to San Antonio, establishing Freedmen’s Towns on the city’s East Side. Ellis Alley was one of the first African-American neighborhoods in San Antonio. The city had a few (168) black slaves among its 3,436 people. [1] Although slavery ended after the U.S. Civil War, by the mid-1870s racial segregation became codified throughout the South, including Texas. African Americans in San Antonio were poorly represented by the predominantly white state legislature and city council, and were politically disenfranchised during the Jim Crow era; whites had used a variety of tactics, including militias and legislation, to re-establish political and social supremacy throughout the South. Racial segregation ended in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s, the African American population in San Antonio was 7.6 percent. [1] The East Side of San Antonio has a large concentration of African American residents. The African American population in San Antonio is now 6.9 percent. Ivy Taylor was also the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in the position.[2]


  1. ^ a b African Americans." Handbook of Texas
  2. ^ Svitek, Patrick (June 14, 2015). "Taylor's San Antonio Win a Wake-Up Call for Democrats". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved June 24, 2015.