Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville (1849- )

The Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, the hometown of Sam Houston, was established in 1849. It is also referred to as the “Walls Unit” for the 15-foot masonry wall that surrounds the prison yard. Currently, it has the capacity to house 1,705 male inmates. During … Read MoreTexas State Penitentiary at Huntsville (1849- )

Mississippi Black Codes, 1865-1866

Following the passage of the 13th Amendment on January 31, 1865, slavery was officially ended throughout the United States, including in the eleven former Confederate States. Almost immediately governments in these states began a process to reestablish white supremacy in the law. The result was … Read MoreMississippi Black Codes, 1865-1866

The Enforcement Act of 1870 (1870-1871)

In the five years following the Civil War, the U.S. Congress passed and the states ratified the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. These amendments permanently ended slavery and granted African Americans access to civil rights and suffrage as citizens of the United … Read MoreThe Enforcement Act of 1870 (1870-1871)

Irene Morgan Kirkaldy (1917-2007)

Irene Amos Morgan Kirkaldy was a civil rights activist who won her 1946 U.S. Supreme Court case in Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, which declared interstate transport racial segregation to be unconstitutional, nearly a decade before the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Irene Amos was born … Read MoreIrene Morgan Kirkaldy (1917-2007)

Laquan McDonald (1997-2014)

On October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African American teenager, was shot 16 times within 14 seconds by Jason Van Dyke, a 36-year-old white Chicago, Illinois policeman.  McDonald’s death was another catalyst for the growing national Black Lives Matter Movement.  It also had significant local ramifications including the defeat … Read MoreLaquan McDonald (1997-2014)