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 anchored by self-help organizations, schools and, especially, churches. A dozen or so of those congregations still exist today.