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Category Archives: black history

First African-American Texas Rangers

Nix-Christine

Christine Nix was hired in 1994 and became an officer with the Texas Rangers after serving in the military and as a police officer in Temple before moving to another state.  She later returned to Texas, moving to Austin.  She happened to live near the Texas Department of Safety office which helped to spark her interest in returning to law enforcement.

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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in biography, black history, texas women

 

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Ernie Banks

In honor of the opening week of another Major League Baseball season, when every team is still 0-0 and hopes are high, we remember the great player from Texas, Ernie Banks.  Banks would be among a very short list of the all time best athletes from Dallas, along with such players as Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.

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(Image credit: sabr.org)

Ernie Banks was born in Dallas on January 31, 1931, ironically the same year as Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.  His full name was Ernest Banks, with no middle name.

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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in biography, black history

 

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Joshua Houston

joshuahouston

(Image credit: Texas State Historical Association)

Joshua Houston (1822-1902) was born near Marion, Alabama and was a slave in the household of the wife of Sam Houston, Margaret Lea.  In the custom of the day, Joshua and his family were left to Margaret after the death in 1834 of her father, Temple Lea.  Margaret moved to Texas in 1840 after marrying Sam Houston in May.

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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in biography, black history, sam houston

 

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Buffalo Soldiers in Texas

The concept of all-black regiments had originated during the Civil War when northern states organized regiments of free blacks from the north and former slaves from the south.  This concept was met with resistance in the north, which resistance is generally accepted to have been racially oriented in nature.  However, by 1863 the U. S. Colored Volunteers had been organized into a cavalry regiment, an artillery regiment and almost two dozen infantry regiments.  It is estimated that about one out of ten Union soldiers serving in the American Civil War were black.

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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in black history

 

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Bill Pickett

Bill Pickett was born to Thomas Jefferson and Mary Gilbert Pickett in Jenks-Branch, Williamson County, Texas in 1870, one of 13 children.  His heritage was African-American and Cherokee.  He is credited for having invented the method of steer wrestling commonly called “bulldogging.”  For this, his showmanship and his other skills he became the first person of African-American descent to be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, among his other honors.

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in biography, black history, entertainers, rodeo

 

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Charley Willis, the singing cowboy

The 1940 Kingsport, Tennessee Kingsport Times headline read “For Carefree Fun, Sing Cowboy Ditties” and offered copes of Popular Cowboy Songs in exchange for ten cents in coin.  It led off with “Goodbye, Old Paint” and included several other songs of the era along with the guitar chords for each melody.

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(Image credit: Kinsgsport Times)

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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in biography, black history

 

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Bose Ikard

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Bose Ikard was born a slave around 1843 – 1847 in Noxubee County, Mississippi.  Bose gave his age to be 37 in 1880, making his year of birth around 1843, but some accounts say 1847.  All of the available genealogical records list his father to be Dr. Milton Ikard with the mother’s name simply listed as “unknown.”   In the vernacular of the time, his “master” was Dr. Ikard who was the source of his last name.  His mother would eventually be revealed as having the last name King and to have also been born in Mississippi, but beyond that, no more is known of her.  The Ikards moved first to Union Parish, Louisiana before coming to Texas about 1852 when Bose was around 8.  Bose lived with the Ikards and moved with them first to Lamar County and then to Parker County.  There he lived the life of a farmer and ranch hand, joining Milton Ikard and others defending their homes and property from Indian attacks.  While living here, Bose acquired his skills as a cowboy, to ride, rope steers, fight Indians and to shoot.

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Posted by on November 24, 2016 in biography, black history

 

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