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UT News

Celebrating Black History Month

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Women living in the Duren House (date unknown) -Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Black History Month is an important time to reflect on our past and celebrate our present. From the Precursors who paved the way for integration on the Forty Acres to the campus spaces that honor our community, learn more about and help us celebrate Black history at UT Austin.

Integration and the Precursors

UT’s first Black undergraduates tell their stories
In this piece produced by Texas Exes’ Alcalde magazine, several Precursors reflect on their experiences as the first Black students to attend UT Austin in the 1950s.

“Overcoming” – A History of Black Integration at UT Austin
In this free audiobook, learn about UT’s story of integration as written by Almetris Marsh Duren and read by members of the Precursors, staff and alumni.

The Story of Ervin Perry – UT’s First Black Faculty Member
An accomplished engineer, Ervin Perry paved the way for continued desegregation across the university and showed the importance of having Black professors at UT.

Excellence in the First Degree
Oscar Leonard Thompson became UT’s first Black graduate in January 1952, receiving his master’s degree in zoology, with an emphasis on genetics.

Our Spaces

Reimagining UT’s East Mall
A new campus project is underway to honor the Precursors through a redesign of the East Mall.

Contextualization and Commemoration Initiative
The CCI is working on several commemorative projects and initiatives, including the Sweatt v. Painter Gallery and Entry at Painter Hall, that will celebrate members of the UT Austin community who worked to advance equity and inclusivity for an institution composed of and serving all Texans.

Featured Events

Black History Month Campus-Wide Cookout
Celebrate Black History Month with the campus community at this lively celebration featuring music and free food.

Warfield Week
Celebrate the life and legacy of John Lewis Warfield, the founding director of UT’s Center for African & African American Studies.

Barbara Jordan National Forum
The LBJ School of Public Affairs’ annual event honors Barbara Jordan and her contributions to UT Austin as a faculty member for nearly 20 years.