Schools & Education - Intro

As is true across the nation, throughout the history of East Austin’s African American community the significance of educational institutions and their role in defining quality of life, promise of advancement, and degree of personal and civic success cannot be downplayed. East Austin was for years, by official design, a racially segregated community where separate-but-unequal was status quo. But also true is that the African American community throughout Austin has always valued education as the key for sustaining a healthy community and providing a path for future generations to advance and lead in careers in civil society and business. African American-only schools exist in Austin’s history back to the city’s earliest settlements. Until the 1929 City Plan these schools were located in East Austin and in various neighborhoods around the city, notably in Clarksville and Wheatville. For this section of the website, we will focus on the establishment, history, and desegregation of public and private schools for African American children in Central East Austin. A special section is devoted to Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of higher learning in Austin, the Capital of Texas.