Clarksville was established. Governor E.M. Pease granted lots from his plantation to former enslaved Africans. Charles Griffin Clark was an outsider who bought up land. Sweet Home Baptist Church (1896) remains the cultural center of this protected neighborhood, bounded by West Lynn Street, Waterston Avenue, West 10th Street and MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1).


Austin’s population was 1,615 Black residents, which composed 36 percent of the 4,428 inhabitants.


Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote, hold jobs, get an education or other … Continued


Belle Hill was established in 1870, a few Black families lived in Austin off Bee Cave Road. The only known reminder is Jackson Cemetery at 700 Las Lomas Drive.


Early Chinese immigrants to Austin were prohibited from owning property. Discriminatory laws denied Chinese immigrants (who were prohibited from citizenship under federal law) the right to own property in Austin. The spouses of these immigrants were often stripped of their U.S. citizenship and its various benefits. The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed by President Chester Arthur, … Continued


Robertson Hill was established. Arguably the center of Black culture at one time, these uplands rise north of Pleasant Hill, between 11th and 14th streets. It has been home to Ebenezer Third Baptist Church (1875) and Robertson Hill School (1897), among other institutions.


Wheatville was establish in a. Located in 1869 above Shoal Creek between 24th, 26th streets and Rio Grande streets, this community of 250 worshipped at New Hope Baptist Church (1887) and studied at Wheatville School (1881). Its newspaper offices now house Freedmen’s Bar.


Masontown was established in 1867, the flats beyond East Avenue from Third to Sixth streets were settled around what would become the Mason Town School. Eventually, it was split by massive railyards, now slated for redevelopment.


Reyna Branch was established in 1866, this town, probably near Bluff Springs on Onion Creek, developed around the Reyna Branch School.


Archivist Michelle Mears’ 2009 book, “And Grace Will Lead Me Home: African American Freedmen Communities of Austin, Texas, 1865-1928″ describes African American settlements in Austin: In general, she writes, these communities consisted of small, substandard houses on unpaved streets that lacked transportation, streetlights, electricity, indoor plumbing and garbage pickup. Often situated along creeks, they were … Continued