"The Soul in the Heart of the City"

Blues Boy


This website represents the work of DiverseArts Culture Works’ East End Digital Archive Project. The Project’s long-term goal is to amass in one online location a collection of multimedia and narrative archival material that graphically illustrate the cultural history of the African American community of Central East Austin.  By collecting and incorporating materials found in a number of collaborating public archival collections, generating new primary source materials, and engaging in additional historical research and writing, the Project hopes to detail the story of this community from it’s founding more than 150 years ago to the present day. And, we hope to do so in entertaining, engaging, and interesting fashion.

As we move forward with the Project, this website will become more and more interactive and collaborative in its functionality and content. We actively seek individuals who want to help. If you have a story to share, materials that help illustrate this history, if you wish to contribute in other ways or join our research team, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 Historically, The East End refers to the area adjacent to what is now the intersection of 12th and Chicon Streets. In this usage, the “End” traditionally referred to the end of the streetcar and trolley line in the days before Austin had public city bus service. Though we use East End in the title of the website, our purview is the area historically settled and populated by African Americans in Central East Austin. This more general Central East Austin area is our focus, as this is the community that now comprises the City of Austin designated African American Cultural Heritage District (2007).

The African American Cultural Heritage District boundaries are I-35 to the west, the east side of Airport to the east, Manor Road to the north and all of Huston Tillotson University campus to the south. The major corridors in the area include 7th, 11th, and 12th Streets, Chicon, Rosewood, Airport Blvd. Martin Luther King (MLK) Blvd., Manor Rd. and Chestnut Street.