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introduction title image

The history of African-Americans at Texas A&M University dates to the institution's beginning. African-Americans in the Texas Legislature supported the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1866, which established the A&M College of Texas. Between 1876 and 1963, African-Americans worked at A&M as laborers, maids, custodians and various other support staff. They were, however, prohibited from attending as students and faculty.

The history of African-Americans at A&M has been shaped by decades of racial segregation, quiet desegregation, and attempts to redress historical wrongs. It has been filled with lifelong struggles and determination in fulfillment of a dream that finally opened the doors to A&M in 1963. The past 37 years have been a continuing struggle by African-Americans and A&M to ensure that the dream is kept alive.

This exhibit attempts to explore that complex history through its 125 years. It is only a partial history, as these photographs, texts and historical documents reveal. Much remains uncovered or forever lost. There are no photographs of prejudice or discrimination, or documents detailing exclusion or unfairness. Yet, it is hoped that what is presented here will tell a story of struggle, pride, humility, persistence, dedication, contributions and achievements.