Independent Historian

Cecilia Gutierrez Venable received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at El Paso and her M.A. and B. A. in history from Texas A & M University Corpus Christi. Gutierrez Venable has worked in university, city, county and private archives and has taught history classes. She is currently working with the Sisters of the Holy Spirit as their historian and archivist. Gutierrez Venable has published several articles and books and is co-editing an anthology, Centuries of Voices on Black women in Texas. She is also working on a book about the foundress of the Sisters who built the first Black Catholic Church and School in San Antonio.

Holy Cross Catholic Church, Corpus Christi, Texas (1914- )

Holy Cross Catholic Church, the first church for African American Catholics in Corpus Christi, Texas, was organized before the parish obtained a physical building.  Before African Americans in that area had a church, they attended Saint Patrick’s Church, and some joined the Mexican Church, Our Lady of … Read MoreHoly Cross Catholic Church, Corpus Christi, Texas (1914- )

Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft (1902-1985) and the Long Civil Rights Movement in Texas

A small but growing number of black women are slowly being recognized for their contributions to the “long” civil rights movement, the nearly century-long struggle by African Americans against all forms of racial discrimination. In the account below University of Texas-El Paso historian Cecilia Gutierrez … Read MoreJuanita Jewel Shanks Craft (1902-1985) and the Long Civil Rights Movement in Texas

Alexis Margaret Herman (1947- )

Alexis Herman, US Secretary of Labor, political activist, civic leader, social worker, and entrepreneur, was born on July 16, 1947 in Mobile, Alabama to politician Alex Herman and educator Gloria Caponis.  Herman graduated from Heart of Mary High School in Mobile in 1965 and enrolled … Read MoreAlexis Margaret Herman (1947- )

Tone Johnson Jr. (1944– )

Tone Johnson, medical doctor, Vietnam hero, and civic leader was born on November 9, 1944 to Lyzer (Elizabeth) Marks Johnson and sawmill worker and farmer Henry Johnson in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.  After graduating from Carrie Martin High School in Plain Dealing in 1963, he went … Read MoreTone Johnson Jr. (1944– )

Benjamin Todd Jealous (1973- )

Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0) Civic leader, activist and journalist Benjamin Jealous is the seventeenth president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). With his appointment to the position in 2008, 35-yar-old Jealous became the youngest person to … Read MoreBenjamin Todd Jealous (1973- )

Henry Boyd Hall (1899-1974)

Dentist, community leader, and civil rights activist Henry Boyd Hall was born September 12, 1899 in Palestine, Texas, Hall attended Palestine’s Lincoln High School, and later Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College where he graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1923. After … Read MoreHenry Boyd Hall (1899-1974)