Freedmen's Town Association Collection RG.F.0023
Houston’s Fourth Ward has been known as Freedmen’s Town, because it was the first Black settlement in Houston following the Civil War. Its origin began when emancipated slaves began to buy land along the Buffalo Bayou to build their homes. Their resourcefulness lead to a thriving community by 1870, beginning with Houston’s first African-American churches and schools. Freedmen’s Town in the early half of the 20th century is recognized as being a cultural center of creativity and talent.
The Freedmen's Town Association is a community-based non-profit corporation. The Association was formed in 1981 to design, implement, coordinate, and direct programs intended to ensure the effective participation of Fourth Ward residents in the redevelopment and revitalization of their community.
In January 1984, the members of the Freedean’s Town Association assembled to discuss the irresponsible gentrification of the area that was destroying its cultural and historical ties. The Freedmen's Town Association applied for and received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to conduct a historic site survey of the community. The Association also submitted a nomination for designation of the area as a National Historic Site which was granted; however, only 40 of the original 80 blocks of Freedmen’s Town are protected.
The Freedmen’s Town Association Collection contains documents and published materials pertaining to the efforts of the Freedmen’s Town Association in preserving the Fourth Ward from 1983 to 1986.
Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Freedmen's Town Association Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.
Freedmen's Town Association Collection. RG F 023. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.
Donated by Gladys House representing the Freedmen's Town Associaton, Inc., June 21, 1985.
Processed by Tamara Jordan, July 11, 2007.
Detailed Description of the Collection