SAN ANTONIO & BLACK SETTLEMENT : 1

Remethia Acevedo Griffin and Irene Griffin / northern Bexar County, Texas c.1920 / courtesy of Griffin family
Remethia Acevedo Griffin and Irene Griffin / northern Bexar County, Texas c.1920 / courtesy of Griffin family

San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas are not generally recognized for their Black settlement legacies. The photograph here is connected to history and culture in ways that may not be immediately obvious. This is a multi-ethnic family, on a 304 acre family owned site, with an authentic history that connects to all directions of the south central Texas region. As a Texan, I realize that there is even a story in the body language between the lady and the horse. For decades there has only been speculation of why the traces of this family’s history sat in the midst of a modern residential subdivision. The San Antonio Conservation Society and City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation are partnering with Ellen P. Hunt/AIA and me to begin to expose this rare and unique history. The houses, schools and churches that served this group of Black settlements have been demolished. We would not have been able to discover the heritage of the residents had they not owned land. A different set of policies, tools and techniques will be required to preserve place and sustain human legacies. The first results of this collaborative effort will be presented during Historic Preservation Month.

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