San Antonio native Lynn Eusan was only 20 years old when she made history as the first African-American homecoming queen at the University of Houston, and the first black homecoming queen at a predominantly white university in the South.
A civil rights pioneer at UH, Eusan was one of the founding members of the Afro-Americans for Black Liberation (AABL), a black-only offshoot of the university’s multiracial Committee on Better Race Relations.
At the time, there were only about 1,000 black students at UH, and there was little, if any, interaction between black groups and white groups. But, despite facing death threats and being mocked by fraternity minstrel shows in blackface, Eusan’s homecoming queen campaign was a joint effort by blacks and other minority students at the University of Houston.
Along with her community activism, Eusan also worked as a journalist and photographer, writing for the Voice of Hope and Houston Forward Times. In October 1971, a scholarship fund for black students studying in the field of journalism was established in her name. And in 1976, the Board of Regents named the park next to the University Hilton after Eusan.