3 African Americans Who Have Left a Lasting Legacy in Texas

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On July 28, 1868, the congress of the United States adopted the 14th amendment, solidifying the rights of African Americans to be treated as fellow citizens in the post-Civil War era. Though it was an important step in the fight for equality, people of color would still face many years of segregation and mistreatment. To honor the passing of this landmark event, here are three African Americans who made significant contributions to the legacy of the Lone Star State.

1. Sam McCulloch Jr.

African American Family

Photo: Facebook/American Slavery

Sam McCulloch Jr. moved to Texas in 1835. Soon after, the battle for Texas’ Independence from Mexico began. Due to Mexico’s recent outlawing of slavery, McCulloch was considered a free man, something not many people could boast of during that period of history. He fought alongside his fellow Texans and eventually, at a skirmish in Goliad, he took a Mexican officer’s bullet in his shoulder, becoming the first person to be wounded in the revolution.

However, his story does not end there. Once Texas had gained its independence, it was quick to address the issue of free people of color residing in the state. In 1840, an act was set into motion which required all free persons of color to vacate the state by January 1, 1842, or risk being sold into slavery. According to the Bullock Museum’s African American article, it would take, “a literal act of congress for a free person of color to stay in the Republic of Texas.”

As a Mexican citizen and wounded veteran, McCulloch was entitled to land regardless of the color of his skin. In 1837 he petitioned the Texas Congress to allow him to remain with his family. Finally, in 1840, an exemption to the existing act was created that would allow him, members of his family, and their descendants to remain in Texas.

2. Etta Barnett

Etta Barnett
Photo: Facebook/Black History Historical Archive 365 24/7

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