Explore Austin's Black History

Austin is home to many historical landmarks reflective of the city's Black history. Learn more about 20 historic homes, churches, schools and community spaces, and find out how to see them for yourself.

Public Landmarks

These historical landmarks are open to view or tour by the public. 

1. African Americans in the Texas Revolution Historical Marker
1100 Congress Ave.
In a small park in Downtown Austin, a marker pays tribute to the African Americans — both free and enslaved — who joined the Texas Army to fight for independence from Mexico from 1835–1836. They acted as guides, soldiers and interpreters, and also transported supplies. Many of them died defending The Alamo.

2. Barbara Jordan Statue at The University of Texas at Austin
307 W. 24th St.
A lawyer by trade, Houston native Barbara Jordan (the daughter of a preacher and a church teacher) became the first Black woman to be elected to the Texas Senate. She later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1976, Jordan became the first Black person and first woman to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. After her political career, she became a professor at UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Jordan died in 1996, becoming the first Black woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

3. Bethany Cemetery
1300 Springdale Rd.
Established in the 1800s, the cemetery’s oldest recorded burial is for infant Hellen Moore in 1879. Today, preservation efforts are underway to protect the 6.18-acre Black burial site.

4. Downs Mabson Field
​2816 E. 12th St.
The field has been synonymous with baseball and the East Austin African American community since the 1940s. The Austin Black Senators, whose team included National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Willie Wells, played at the original stadium site. Today, Downs Field is home to the Huston-Tillotson University Rams and the Austin Metro Baseball League. Check out Downs Field’s amazing murals and catch a game.

5. George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center
1165 Angelina St.
This repository for local African American history and artifacts opened in 1980. It was expanded in 1998 to a 36,000-square-foot facility that includes galleries, a theater, dance studio and library.

6. Hezikiah Haskell House
1705 Waterston Ave.
Former enslaved man Hezikiah Hasell, who served as a Union and Buffalo soldier, lived in the 1879 home. After his son Hezikiah Jr. died in 1976, the building was deeded to the City of Austin to be used as an example of Clarksville and the Freedom Colony’s history and cultural roots. Today, there is no charge for guided tours of the building, now called the Haskell House Museum. When the Smith family lived there, they lent their home for Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church’s services in the late 1800s. One of their boarders was Hezikiah Haskell, who married their daughter.

7. Oakwood Cemetery
1601 Navasota St.
Over 23,000 burials have taken place in Austin’s oldest municipal cemetery. Originally established in 1839 on 10 acres, the cemetery has now expanded to 40 acres. Glimpse into the past and the area’s cultural heritage through exhibits and events. Visit the Oakwood Chapel Visitor Center to arrange a tour.

8. Texas African American History Memorial
100 W. 11th St.
​To learn about the history, culture and contributions of African Americans in Texas, this is a must-visit on the State Capitol grounds. The striking monument — it’s 27 feet tall and 32 feet wide — was designed by sculptor Ed Dwight. It debuted in 2016 and features statues and 10 informational panels. History references from the 1500s to modern day include Juneteenth, wars and battles, politics and Texas industries that African Americans helped advance.

9. Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute
900 Chicon St.
​The school opened for classes Jan. 17, 1881. In 1952, it merged with Samuel Huston College, which is actually older. Huston College moved to Austin in 1878 after its building in Dallas was torched by the Ku Klux Klan. In Austin, the college was originally housed in what is now Wesley United Methodist Church. Huston-Tillotson College officially changed its name to Huston-Tillotson University on Feb. 28, 2005.

10. Victory Grill (Victory East)
1104 E. 11th St.
Visit the historic site of Austin's first home of the blues. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it opened in 1945. The nightclub was on the Chitlin Circuit of music venues that were open to African American musicians during segregation.

Private Landmarks

These landmarks are viewable from the street, but not open to the public to tour.

11. Colored Teachers State Association of Texas Building
1191 Navasota St.
The association served African American teachers from 1952 until 1966, when it merged with the Texas State Teachers Association. The group was instrumental in the struggle to desegregate public schools and win equal rights and wages for African American teachers throughout Texas. House of Elegance, a hair salon opened in 1968 by Ella Mae Pease, formerly operated in the building. The University of Texas at Austin bought the building in 2018 to be used as a Community Engagement Center.

12. Connelly-Yerwood House
1115 E. 12th St.
The house was built in 1904 by the Connelly family. Dr. Charles Yerwood bought the house in 1926 and opened a practice at 421 E. Sixth St. in the late 1920s. Yerwood's two daughters, Connie and Joyce, went on to become physicians. Connie returned to Austin in 1936 and became the first African American doctor to work for the Texas Public Health Service, which is now the Department of State Health Services. She was married to Dr. Beadie Eugene Conner, a prominent local African American physician.

13. Ebenezer Third Baptist Church
1010 E. 10th St.
After organizing in 1875 in a home one block away from the current site, church members moved into a frame building at Catalpa and Curve streets. With more growth came the need to build a brick church at East 10th and San Marcos in the mid-1880s, later expanding to add a tabernacle and education center. The bell that rings in the church’s tower today came from the original brick church. 

14. E.H. Carrington Grocery Store and Lyons Hall
522 E. Sixth St.
Former enslaved person Edward H. Carrington, followed by son-in-law Louis D. Lyons, owned a successful grocery from 1873 to the 1940s. Both men were African American community leaders. Lyons created a community space for meetings, receptions and celebrations on the second floor.

15. Henry Green Madison Cabin
1182 N. Pleasant Valley Rd.
The log cabin was built in 1863 along East 11th Street by the city's first African American appointed to serve on the City Council. Henry Green Madison lived there with his wife and their eight children. In 1973, the cabin was reconstructed in Rosewood Park.

16. Hugh B. Hancock House
1717 West Ave.
This notable home, moved to its current site in 1979, was built in 1886 for African American businessman Hugh B. Hancock. The Victorian-style house originally was on Seventh Street in East Austin, where railroad engineer Charles Frederick Mann and his family owned it from 1904 to 1959.

17. Limerick-Frazier House
810 E. 13th St.
The house has a century-long connection to African American history. It was built in 1876 by immigrant stonemason Joseph Limerick, but he did not live there. John W. Frazier, a professor at Samuel Huston College, purchased the house in 1905, when this section of East Austin was beginning to evolve into a largely African American community. After he died, Laura Allman Frazier, his widow, operated the house as lodging for African American students and travelers who were excluded from white-owned hotels in Austin during the Jim Crow era.

18. Robertson Hill School
900 Thompson St.
Built in 1884 at San Marcos and 11th streets, this was one of the city's first schools for African American children. A high school was added in 1889, then relocated in 1907 to Olive and Curve streets, where it became E.H. Anderson High School. In 1913, it moved again, to Pennsylvania Street (now Kealing Middle School). In 1938, it was renamed in memory of L.C. Anderson, E.H.'s brother and a longtime principal. In 1953, a new Anderson High School opened at 900 Thompson St., but closed in 1971 as part of a court-ordered desegregation plan. The current L.C. Anderson High School on Mesa Drive opened in 1974.

19. Southgate-Lewis House
1501 E. 12th St.
The High Victorian house built in 1888 by printer John Southgate was purchased by Charles Lewis in 1913. The Lewis family owned the property until 1979, and his daughter operated an ice cream shop and one-room school there. The W.H. Passon Historical Society, formed in 1975 to preserve materials, artifacts and historic sites pertaining to African American culture, formerly occupied the building.

20. Wesley United Methodist Church
1160 San Bernard St.
Its historical roots began with the First United Methodist Church, organized in 1839 at what is now Congress Avenue and Fourth Street. In 1853, the building was sold, which sent the 90 Methodists —including 30 enslaved people and servants — to a brick building at 10th and Brazos streets. After Emancipation, the former enslaved people formed a new congregation, known as Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, and built their own clapboard church at Ninth and Neches streets. The old church's bell hangs in the belfry of the current church.