Merline Pitre

Academic Historian

MERLINE PITRE is a professor of History and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Behavioral Sciences at Texas Southern University. She received her Ph.D. degree from Temple University and has published a number of articles in scholarly and professional journals. Her most noted works are Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868 to 1898 (a book which was reissued in 1997 and used in a traveling exhibit on black legislators by the State Preservation Board in 1998), and In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900 to 1957 (Texas A&M University Press, 1999). Pitre has been the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Foundation, Texas Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a former member of the Texas Council for the Humanities. Currently, she is a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Texas Council for the Humanities and serves on the nominating board of the Organization of American Historians.

Texas Southern University (1947- )

Texas Southern University, a state-supported institution of higher learning located just southeast of downtown Houston, was established on March 3, 1947 when the Fiftieth Texas State Legislature passed a bill establishing a " Negro University with a law school to be located in Houston." This … Read MoreTexas Southern University (1947- )

Eldrewey Joseph Stearns (1931- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Eldrewey Joseph Stearns, political activist and student organizer, was born in Galveston, Texas on December 21, 1931, to Devona and Rudolph Stearns.  He spent his formative years, during the 1930s and 1940s in San Augustine, Texas, but returned to Galveston in … Read MoreEldrewey Joseph Stearns (1931- )

Samuel Milton Nabrit (1905-2003)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain A marine biologist, academic, and administrator, Samuel Milton Nabrit was born in Macon, Georgia, to James Madison Nabrit and Gertrude West in 1905.  Upon completing his elementary and high school education, he entered Morehouse College in 1921.  There he earned … Read MoreSamuel Milton Nabrit (1905-2003)

John Henry “Jack” Yates (1828-1897)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Henry "Jack" Yates, minister and educator, was born a slave to Robert and Rachael Yates in Gloucester County, Virginia, on July 11, 1828. As a slave, Yates learned to read and write, and acquired the skills of carpentry. During his … Read MoreJohn Henry “Jack” Yates (1828-1897)

Hobart T. Taylor Sr. (1890-1972)

Hobart Taylor (front) at Construction of the Astrodome, Fall 1962 Image Ownership: Public Domain Entrepreneur, millionaire, and political activist, Hobart T. Taylor was born in 1890 in Wharton, Texas, to Millie (Wright) and Jack Taylor. Jack Taylor, a former slave, who had become an entrepreneur … Read MoreHobart T. Taylor Sr. (1890-1972)

Carter W. Wesley (1892-1969)

Carter W. Wesley, newspaperman and political activist, was born in Houston, Texas, on April 29, 1892, to Mable (Green) and Harry Wesley.  He graduated from the public schools of the city and earned a B.A. degree at Fisk University in Nashville in 1917.  Shortly thereafter, … Read MoreCarter W. Wesley (1892-1969)

George Thompson Ruby (1841-1882)

George Thompson Ruby was born in New York in 1841 but reared in Portland, Maine. After acquiring a sound liberal arts education there, he journeyed to Haiti, where he worked as a correspondent for the Pine and Palm, a New England newspaper edited by abolitionist … Read MoreGeorge Thompson Ruby (1841-1882)

Matthew Gaines (1840 – 1900)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Matthew Gaines, black senator and Baptist preacher, was born on August 4, 1840, to a slave mother on the plantation of Martin G. Despallier in Pineville, near Alexandria, Louisiana. He learned to read by candlelight from books smuggled to him by … Read MoreMatthew Gaines (1840 – 1900)

Walter Moses Burton (1829?-1913)

Walter Moses Burton holds the distinction of being the first black elected sheriff in the United States.  Burton was also a State Senator in Texas. Burton was brought to Fort Bend County, Texas as a slave from North Carolina in 1850 at the age of twenty-one.  … Read MoreWalter Moses Burton (1829?-1913)