skip to main contentThe University of Texas at AustinLift Every Voice, A Toolkit of Texas African American History, a resource to teachers, students, and scholars celebrating the lives and contributions of African-Americans in Texas

Many voices comprise the historic landscape of African Americans in Texas. Their heroic struggles and triumphs become lessons of hope for future generations. In the Lift Every Voice: A Toolkit for Texas African American History, the history of the African American experience comes alive in the interactive narratives, learning activities and web-based resources. The toolkit is available for students or anyone interested in learning more about the diverse lives and extraordinary achievements of ordinary people.

Additionally, the toolkit may be used as a resource for students and teachers who participate in the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition. It provides activities to transform the tedium of learning facts and dates into an engaging investigation into the memories, anecdotes, and artifacts of real people who lived during landmark events.

Toolkit activities and resources provide an intersection between the personal and the historic as students research significant events in Texas African American history and gain skills to interview their subjects about those events. The Civil Rights Movement no longer exists only on the pages of a textbook, but in the living, breathing stories and eye-witness accounts of the people who courageously pioneered and championed equal rights for all races. Because many of these individuals are elderly, their stories are invaluable and timely. As a result, student essays provide vital historical research as they document and preserve these untold narratives.

It is our hope that individuals using this toolkit will gain a better understanding of how diversity and appreciation of cultural differences makes a difference in our communities and enriches us all.

Versie Lee Jackson & The Integration of Lamar University

Watch a winning essay from the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition come to life as a young writer discovers how his grandmother helped change the course of civil rights in Texas, directed and produced by Mason Jones and Christopher Palmer.