Local tour guide shares Houston's African-American history during black history month

HOUSTON - African-American history is scattered throughout Houston and residents can see a representation of that on the front of Yates High School in remembrance of Jack Yates legacy. 

If you're interested in learning more in honor of Black History Month then Keith Rosen is the guy to take a tour with.

He started with Yates who was “the first civil rights leader of Houston and the most prominent African-American in Houston in the last half of the (nineteenth) century.”

He also helped purchase Emancipation Park, establish a college to train African American preachers, and was the first full-time preacher at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.

“This is the oldest African-American church building in Houston. The congregation was founded in 1866 just after the Civil War and met outside by Buffalo Bayou,” says Keith.  “The building was known as the red brick church so what you're seeing here is largely stucco painted over to look like stone over the red brick that housed it together."

Our next stop on the mini-tour is the African-American library at the Gregory School.

“It's more than just a library, it's a museum of African-American history," says Keith.  “It's a fantastic resource for local African-American history, it has excellent exhibits and I would encourage any and all kids and/or teachers to bring classes over here to learn about local history.”

It is impossible to truly represent how much black history we have in Houston in one story.  In fact, Keith ran into the same problem with his tours.

“We have such a large and diverse African-American population that we started from one tour but had to keep expanding to be inclusive of each of these populations which in it of themselves were unique to certain parts of Houston,” says Keith.

We finish today's mini-tour by coming full circle here at College Memorial Park Cemetery where we find the grave site of "Jack" Yates and his family. If you're interested in going on any of the nine African-American history tours that Keith offers, you'll find that information on their online website: http://www.houstonhistoricaltours.com/


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