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African Americans Play Central Role in the Settlement of San Antonio

Courtesy Photo

As San Antonio prepares to celebrate the city’s 300 years of history one local man is trying to reclaim lost local African American history. Everett Fly is highlighting the historic role that African American’s played in settling San Antonio.

The Hockley Settlement, The Elmendorf Enclave and the Hockley Enclave are just three of what were many unincorporated African American communities that were in and around Bexar County after emancipation.  Fly who received a 2014 National Humanities Medal Recipient for preservation of African American places says this history is being lost.

“One of the families I spoke with as recently as three weeks ago – one of the older family members who had recollections of the family members and the activities and events and the history – one of those folks – passed away – so all that history went with them,” Fly says.

Fly said African American families played a critical role in the settlement of San Antonio and across Texas. They were there as heroes at every milestone of state history. However, their accomplishments have not been given their full due. Fly is working to connect with local families  to record and document their legacy to archival standards.

“The interesting thing about San Antonio is that we have such amazing historical records – back from the days of Spanish colonial time and going forward so pulling together the story of the puzzle of these enclaves or settlements – the Hockley –Winters – Jackson and Griffen – it’s taken a lot of hours but the documentation is there,” he says.

Fly will present a lecture 5:30 tonight at the Carver Community Center titled – “Cultural Preservation: Holistic Stewardship of Black History and Place in San Antonio.” It’s free and open to the public.