One of the few books of its kind, Acting Up and Getting Down brings together seven African American literary voices that all have a connection to the Lone Star state. Covering Texas themes and universal ones, this collection showcases often-overlooked literary talents to bring to life inspiring facets of black theatre history.
Capturing the intensity of racial violence in Texas, from the Battle of San Jacinto to a World War I–era riot at a Houston training ground, Celeste Bedford Walker’s Camp Logan and Ted Shine’s Ancestors provide fascinating narratives through the lens of history. Thomas Meloncon’s Johnny B. Goode and George Hawkins’s Br’er Rabbit explore the cultural legacies of blues music and folktales. Three unflinching dramas (Sterling Houston’s Driving Wheel, Eugene Lee’s Killingsworth, and Elizabeth Brown-Guillory’s When the Ancestors Call) examine homosexuality, a death in the family, and child abuse, bringing to light the private tensions of intersections between the individual and the community.
Supplemented by a chronology of black literary milestones as well as a playwrights’ canon, Acting Up and Getting Down puts the spotlight on creative achievements that have for too long been excluded from Texas letters. The resulting anthology not only provides new insight into a regional experience but also completes the American story as told onstage.
The stage was set for conflict: The First Congress of the Republic of Texas had arbitrarily designated the Rio Grande as the boundary of the new nation. Yet the historic boundaries of Texas, under Spain and Mexico, had never extended beyond the Nueces River. Mexico, unwilling to acknowledge Texas independence, was even more unwilling to allow this further encroachment upon her territory.
But neither country was in a strong position to substantiate claims; so the conflict developed as a war of futile threats, border raids, and counterraids. Nevertheless, men died—often heroically—and this is the first full story of their bitter struggle. Based on original sources, it is an unbiased account of Texas-Mexican relations in a crucial period.
As Mexican soldiers fought the mostly Anglo-American colonists and volunteers at the Alamo in 1836, San Antonio's Tejano population was caught in the crossfire, both literally and symbolically. Though their origins were in Mexico, the Tejanos had put down lasting roots in Texas and did not automatically identify with the Mexican cause. Indeed, as the accounts in this new collection demonstrate, their strongest allegiance was to their fellow San Antonians, with whom they shared a common history and a common plight as war raged in their hometown.
Timothy M. Matovina here gathers all known Tejano accounts of the Battle of the Alamo. These accounts consist of first reports of the battle, including Juan N. Seguín's funeral oration at the interment ceremony of the Alamo defenders, conversations with local Tejanos, unpublished petitions and depositions, and published accounts from newspapers and other sources. This communal response to the legendary battle deepens our understanding of the formation of Mexican American consciousness and identity.
Alexander Edwin Sweet (1841-1901) is Texas's own "Sifter," whose humorous columns appeared in the Galveston Daily News in the late 1870s and early 1880s. In his wickedly funny, tongue-in-cheek sketches, readers learned of an astonishing variety of frontier phenomena, some familiar, others downright odd. For example, there was the typical nineteenth-century custom of New Year's Day receptions for bachelor guests only, with refreshments consisting largely of strong drink and equally strong fruitcake. Imbibing a bit more cheer at each stop, according to Sweet, the bachelors brought the last prospective sweethearts they visited New Year's greetings as incoherent as they were heartfelt.
At times Sweet parodied the Yankee image of the typical Texan, whom he described as "half alligator, half human," eating raw buffalo and toting an arsenal of weaponry like a "perambulating gun-rack." But he also did as much as any writer to establish and enlarge upon the national image of Texas and Texans. Even the irascible red ant and the other "critters" in Sweet's column were Texas big and Texas-fabulous!
In 1881 Sweet co-founded Texas Siftings, a humor magazine that moved from Austin to New York to become one of the most popular periodicals of its kind in the United States. From Texas Siftings, from Sweet's two published books (one called by John Jenkins in Basic Texas Books the "best volume of 19th century Texas humor"), and from many never-before-collected newspaper columns, editor Virginia Eisenhour has assembled an Alex Sweet sampler that presents the very best of the timeless humorist's work. The result—Alex Sweet's Texas—clearly demonstrates why the New York Journal pronounced Sweet "second to no living writer in freshness, originality, sparkling wit, and refined humor." A century later, that wit still sparkles and is guaranteed to delight Texans present as it once did Texans past.
"And Other Neighborly Names"—the title is from a study by Americo Paredes of the names, complimentary and otherwise, exchanged across cultural boundaries by Anglos and Mexicans—is a collection of essays devoted to various aspects of folk tradition in Texas. The approach builds on the work of the folklorists who have helped give the study of folklore in Texas such high standing in the field-Mody Boatright, J. Frank Dobie, John Mason Brewer, the Lomaxes, and of course Paredes himself, to whom this book is dedicated.
Focusing on the ways in which traditions arise and are maintained where diverse peoples come together, the editors and other essayists—John Holmes McDowell, Joe Graham, Alicia María González, Beverly J. Stoeltje, Archie Green, José E. Limón, Thomas A. Green, Rosan A. Jordan, Patrick B. Mullen, and Manuel H. Peña—examine conjunto music, the corrido, Gulf fishermen's stories, rodeo traditions, dog trading and dog-trading tales, Mexican bakers' lore, Austin's "cosmic cowboy" scene, and other fascinating aspects of folklore in Texas. Their emphasis is on the creative reaction to socially and culturally pluralistic situations, and in this they represent a distinctively Texan way of studying folklore, especially as illustrated in the performance-centered approach of Paredes, Boatright, and others who taught at the University of Texas at Austin. As an overview of this approach—its past, present, and future—"And Other Neighborly Names" makes a valuable contribution both to Texas folklore and to the discipline as a whole.
Winner, Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization Of American Historians, 1988
American Historical Association, Pacific Branch Book Award, 1989
Texas Institute of Letters Friends Of The Dallas Public Library Award, 1987
Texas Historical Commission T. R. Fehrenbach Award, Best Ethnic, Minority, And Women's History Publication, 1987
This is the story of a New Englander who came penniless to Mexican Texas in 1833 and within the next decade helped to bring his adopted country through the turbulent disorders of settlement, revolution, political experimentation, and statehood.
Within a year of his arrival, Anson Jones was successfully practicing medicine, acquiring land, and resolving to avoid politics; but then the Revolution erupted and Jones became a private in the Texas Army, doubling as surgeon at San Jacinto. Military duty done, he resumed medical practice but some acts of the First Congress so irked him that he became a member of the Second and began a political career that lasted from 1837 to 1846 during which he served successively as congressman, minister to the United States, Texas senator, secretary of state, and president of the Republic of Texas. Anson Jones took his own life on January 9, 1858.
Told with imagination and insight, Herbert Gambrell's account of the life of Anson Jones is also a colorful and concurrent biography of Texas and its people.
Addressing Native American studies past, present, and future, the essays in New Indians, Old Wars tackle the discipline head-on, presenting a radical revision of the popular view of the American West in the process. Instead of luxuriating in the West's past glories or accepting the widespread historians' view of it as a shared place, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn argues that the American West should be fundamentally understood as stolen.
Cook-Lynn says that the Indian Wars of Resistance to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonial effort to seize native lands and resources must be given standing in the face of the ever-growing imperial narrative of America--because the terror the world is now witnessing may be the direct consequence of events which began in America's earliest dealings with the natives of this continent. Cook-Lynn's story examines the ongoing and perennial relationship of conflict between colonizers and indigenous people, and it is a story that every American must read.
Cook-Lynn understands that the story of the American West teaches the political language of land theft and tyranny. She argues that to remedy this situation, Native American studies must be considered and pursued as its own discipline, rather than as a subset of history or anthropology. She makes an impassioned claim that such a shift, not merely an institutional or theoretical change, could allow Native American studies to play an important role in defending the sovereignty of indigenous nations today.
How does a prison achieve institutional order while safeguarding prisoners' rights? Since the early 1960s, prison reform advocates have aggressively used the courts to extend rights and improve life for inmates, while prison administrators have been slow to alter the status quo. Litigated reform has been the most significant force in obtaining change.
An Appeal to Justice is a critical tudy of how the Texas Department of Corrections was transformed by Ruiz v. Estelle, the most sweeping class-action suit in correctional law history. Orders from federal judge William W. Justice rapidly moved the Texas system from one of the most autonomous, isolated, and paternalistic system to a more constitutional bureaucracy. In many respects the Texas experience is a microcosm of the transformation of American corrections over the second half of the twentieth century.
This is a careful account of TDC's fearful past as a plantation system, its tumultuous litigated reform, and its subsequent efforts to balance prisoner rights and prison order. Of major importance is the detailed examination of the broad stages of the reform process (and its costs and benefits) and an intimate look at prison brutality and humanity. The authors examine the terror tactics of the inmate guards, the development of prisoner gangs and widespread violence during the reforms, and the stability that eventually emerged. They also detail the change of the guard force from a relatively small, cohesive cadre dependent on discretion, personal loyalty, and physical dominance to a larger and more fragmented security staff controlled by formal procedures.
Drawing on years of research in archival sources and on hundreds of interviews with prisoners, administrators, and staff, An Appeal to Justice is a unique basis for assessing the course and consequences of prison litigation and will be valuable reading for legislators, lawyers, judges, prison administrators, and concerned citizens, as well as prison and public policy scholars.
Hailed as a model state history thanks to Thomas E. Sheridan's thoughtful analysis and lively interpretation of the people and events shaping the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has become a standard in the field. Now, just in time for Arizona's centennial, Sheridan has revised and expanded this already top-tier state history to incorporate events and changes that have taken place in recent years. Addressing contemporary issues like land use, water rights, dramatic population increases, suburban sprawl, and the US-Mexico border, the new material makes the book more essential than ever. It successfully places the forty-eighth state's history within the context of national and global events. No other book on Arizona history is as integrative or comprehensive.
From stone spear points more than 10,000 years old to the boom and bust of the housing market in the first decade of this century, Arizona: A History explores the ways in which Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Anglos have inhabited and exploited Arizona. Sheridan, a life-long resident of the state, puts forth new ideas about what a history should be, embracing a holistic view of the region and shattering the artificial line between prehistory and history. Other works on Arizona's history focus on government, business, or natural resources, but this is the only book to meld the ethnic and cultural complexities of the state's history into the main flow of the story.
A must read for anyone interested in Arizona's past or present, this extensive revision of the classic work will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers alike.
A clearing in the ponderosa pine forest called Volunteer Prairie met the military's criteria for a munitions depot—open terrain, a cool climate, plentiful water, and proximity to a railroad—and it was also sufficiently inland to be safe from the threat of coastal invasion. Constructing a depot of 800 ammunition bunkers, each the size of a 2,000-square-foot home, called for a force of 8,000 laborers, and Flagstaff became a boom town overnight as construction workers and their families poured in from nearby Indian reservations and as far away as the Midwest and South. More than 2,000 were retained as permanent employees—a larger workforce than Flagstaff's total pre-war employment roster.
As Westerlund's portrait of wartime Flagstaff shows, prosperity brought unanticipated consequences: racism simmered beneath the surface of the town as ethnic groups were thrown together for the first time; merchants called a city-wide strike to protest emerging union activity; juvenile delinquency rose dramatically; Flagstaff women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers, altering local mores along with their own plans for the future; meanwhile, hundreds of sailors and marines arrived at Arizona State Teachers College to participate in the Navy's "V-12" program. Whether recounting the difficulty of 3,500 Navajo and Hopi employees adjusting to life off the reservation or the complaints of townspeople that Austrian POWs-transferred to the depot to ease the labor shortage-were treated too well, Westerlund shows that the construction and maintenance of the facility was far more than a military matter.
Navajo Ordnance Depot remained operational to support wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, and today Camp Navajo provides storage for thousands of deactivated ICBM motors. But in recounting its early days, Westerlund has skillfully blended social and military history to vividly portray not only a city's transitional years but also the impact of military expansion on economic and community development in the American West.
It is 1842—a dramatic year in the history of Texas-Mexican relations. After five years of uneasy peace, of futile negotiations, of border raids and temporary, unofficial truces, a series of military actions upsets the precarious balance between the two countries. Once more the Mexican Army marches on Texas soil; once more the frontier settlers strengthen their strongholds for defense or gather their belongings for flight. Twice San Antonio falls to Mexican generals; twice the Texans assemble armies for the invasion of Mexico. It is 1842—a year of attack and counterattack.
This is the story that Joseph Milton Nance relates, with a definitiveness and immediacy which come from many years of meticulous research. The exciting story of 1842 is a story of emotions which had simmered through the long, insecure years and which now boil out in blustery threats and demands for vengeance. The Texans threaten to march beyond the Sierra Madres and raise their flag at Monterrey; the Mexicans promise to subdue this upstart Texas and to teach its treacherous inhabitants their place. With communications poor and imaginations fertile, rumors magnify chance banditry into military raids, military raids into full-scale invasions. Newspapers incite their readers with superdramatic, intoxicating accounts of the events. Texans and Mexicans alike respond with a kind of madness that has little or no method. Texas solicits volunteers, calls out troops, plans invasions, and assembles her armies, completely disregarding the fact that her treasury is practically empty—there is little money to buy guns. Meanwhile, in Mexico, where gold and silver are needed for other purposes, “invasions” of Texas are launched—but they are only brief forays more suitable for impressive publicity than for permanent gains.
Still, the conflicts of threat and retaliation, so often futile, are frequently dignified by idealism, friendship, courage, and determination. Both Mexicans and Texans are fighting and dying for liberty, defending their homes against foreign invaders, establishing and maintaining friendships that cross racial and national boundaries, struggling with conflicting loyalties, and—all the while—striving to wrest a living for themselves and their families from the grudging frontier.
Attack and Counterattack, continuing the account which was begun in After San Jacinto, tells from original sources the full story of Texas-Mexican relations from the time of the Santa Fe Expedition through the return of the Somervell Expedition from the Rio Grande. These books examine in great detail and with careful accuracy a period of Texas history that had not heretofore been thoroughly studied and that had seldom been given unbiased treatment. The source materials compiled in the notes and bibliography—particularly the military reports, letters, diaries, contemporary newspapers, and broadsides—will be a valuable tool for any scholar who wishes to study this or related periods.
Austin, Texas, entered the aviation age on October 29, 1911, when Calbraith Perry Rodgers landed his Wright EX Flyer in a vacant field near the present-day intersection of Duval and 45th Streets. Some 3,000 excited people rushed out to see the pilot and his plane, much like the hundreds of thousands who mobbed Charles A. Lindbergh and The Spirit of St. Louis in Paris sixteen years later. Though no one that day in Austin could foresee all the changes that would result from manned flight, people here—as in cities and towns across the United States—realized that a new era was opening, and they greeted it with all-out enthusiasm.
This popularly written history tells the story of aviation in Austin from 1911 to the opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 1999. Kenneth Ragsdale covers all the significant developments, beginning with military aviation activities during World War I and continuing through the barnstorming era of the 1920s, the inauguration of airmail service in 1928 and airline service in 1929, and the dedication of the first municipal airport in 1930. He also looks at the University of Texas's role in training pilots during World War II, the growth of commercial and military aviation in the postwar period, and the struggle over airport expansion that occupied the last decades of the twentieth century. Throughout, he shows how aviation and the city grew together and supported each other, which makes the Austin aviation experience a case study of the impact of aviation on urban communities nationwide.
Winner, Southwest Book Award, Border Regional Library Association, 2015
The Texas of vast open spaces inhabited by independent, self-reliant men and women may be more of a dream than a reality for the state’s largely urban population, but it still exists in the Big Bend. One of the most sparsely settled areas of the United States, the Big Bend attracts people who are willing to forego many modern conveniences for a lifestyle that proclaims “don’t fence me in.” Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright believe that the character traits exemplified by folks in the Big Bend—including self-sufficiency, friendliness, and neighborliness—go back to the founding of the state. In this book, they introduce us to several dozen Big Bend residents—old and young, long-settled and recently arrived, racially diverse—who show us what it means to be an authentic Texan.
Interviewing people in Marathon, Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, Redford, Presidio, Alpine, Marfa, Valentine, Balmorhea, Limpia Crossing, and Fort Davis, Daudistel and Wright discover the reasons why residents of the Big Bend make this remote area of Texas their permanent home. In talking to ranchers and writers, entrepreneurs and artists, people living off the grid and urban refugees, they find a common willingness to overcome difficulties through individual skill and initiative. As one interviewee remarks, you have to have a lot of “try” in you to make a life in the Big Bend. Bill Wright’s photographs of the people and landscapes are a perfect complement to the stories of these authentic Texans. Together, these voices and images offer the most complete, contemporary portrait of the Texas Big Bend.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press