Black History Moment:
Texas may be the second-largest state, known for its “don’t mess with Texas” attitude, cowboys, and the Bush family, but the Lone Star State has a surprising backstory – it was once a haven for Free Black people.
In 1824, the Mexican government enacted the General Colonization Law which guaranteed land ownership to all heads of household, regardless of race. For Black families, some of whom had first settled on the land in the 1700s, this was an amazing opportunity to acquire land and true freedom.
But things took a turn for the worse when the Mexican government realized that all the white U.S. settlers were isolating themselves from the rest of the population and refused to be naturalized as Mexican citizens.
The Mexican government also noted that white U.S. settlers blatantly ignored their slavery reforms – which included a ban on selling or purchasing enslaved people and requiring that children of those enslaved be freed at age fourteen.
The Mexican government decided to ban immigration from the U.S. to Texas, leading to what is now known as the Texas Revolution. This ban had a grave affect on Black people.
Soon after the ban, Texas government officials established the Act Concerning Free Persons of Color. This gave free Black people living in the Republic of Texas two options: flee or be sold back into slavery.
The past informs the present. Today, Texas is known for textbooks with their own twisted version of American history and slavery, approving anti-Latino immigration laws, and as the place where we may never know what happened to Sandra Bland.
Information provided by PushBlack.