The Green Book and HBCUs in Texas
Back during the modern Jim Crow era, African Americans endured discriminatory hazards while traveling around the country. To circumnavigate these unwelcome situations, they used various travel guides to locate where they could purchase gas, get a haircut, buy a meal, sleep for the night, or enjoy some entertainment. These travel guides were published from the early 1930s up to the late 1960s and provided information that would keep the African American traveler “from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trips more enjoyable.” Probably the most well-known one is The Negro Motorist Green Book, or more commonly known as the Green Book.
Based on 34 African American travel guides that includes 43 Texas communities, THC’s Historic Resources Survey Coordinator Leslie Wolfenden has been researching and documenting over 780 sites. She has not done this alone as several interns over the years have assisted her, including the most recent Preservation Scholar Daniele Dixon over the Summer of 2022, who explored what have become known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Join us for a virtual presentation and discussion with Leslie and Daniele about their research into HBCUs in Texas.
Daniele Rose Dixon is the 2022 Larry Oaks Preservation Scholar with the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission and a recent college graduate, earning her Master of Arts degree in history from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Born and raised in the Bay Area, home to some of the most renowned instances of art activism and social justice organizing, Daniele has always had a passion for truth-seeking from a young age. Today, she uses her career as a historian to become a voice for the voiceless, uncovering the life stories of silenced and marginalized people.
Leslie Wolfenden is the Historic Resources Survey Coordinator for the Texas Historical Commission where she manages the Historic Texas Highways and Historic Resources Survey programs since 2013 when she transferred from the Texas Main Street program as a project designer for two years. Prior to that, she did private sector environmental consulting for 4 years that included urban and rural historic resources surveys, Section 106 and NEPA compliance, and building condition assessments, as well as an 18-year career in interior design.
She also served for 3-and-a-half-years on the Austin Historic Landmark Commission and volunteered for Save Austin’s Cemeteries, a local non-profit group for over a decade, leading the grassroots efforts of restoring the 1914 Gothic Revival chapel at the historic Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.
Leslie has a Master’s in Historic Preservation, a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Texas system, and an Associate’s in Interior Design from Bauder College.REGISTER HERE