On September 14, 1927, the Houston Public School Board funded two junior colleges, one for whites & one for Negroes & the Colored Junior College was born.
In 1934, the Houston School Board changed the junior college to a four-year college & renamed it Houston College for Negroes. Classes were held in Yates High School.
In the summer of 1945, the Houston College for Negroes added a graduate program & was quickly outgrowing its space at Yates High.
And then philanthropists like Hugh Roy Cullen stepped in & aided the purchase of 53 acres in Houston’s Third Ward & philanthropists like Mrs. T.M. Fairchild & Mr.& Mrs. C.A. Dupree & a host of men & women of color in the community came together to fund the first structure on the new campus, a structure which is still operating today.
In March of 1947, in response to a law suit brought against the University of Texas law school by an applicant of color, the Texas legislature, believing that the concept of separate but equal would apply, created a law school & the Houston College for Negroes was renamed the Texas State University for Negroes.
In 1951, after students petitioned the Texas legislature, the Texas State University for Negroes became Texas Southern University.
http://www.tsu.edu/About/History.php* Although I have heard bits & pieces of this history over the years – I owe this recitation to the Texas University website. I pray I have been accurate.
Michael Strahan played football in Houston. First at Westbury High School, then at Texas Southern University. The only school to offer him a scholarship. He caught the eye of the NFL & got drafted by the Giants & now has a Super Bowl ring.
None of that, not the fact that Michael Strahan holds the record for number of sacks in a season or his Super Bowl ring, is the reason why I admire this man.
It is because of a speech he delivered in May of 2013 at Texas Southern University when he received an honorary doctorate.
At the end of the speech, he told the graduates:
I am Michael Strahan. And I am Texas Southern University.
Because he is both. And he stood before a group of graduates & acknowledged his family, his faith & the University.
Tomorrow, Michael Strahan will be formally inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.
His family, Texas Southern University, & Houston could not be more proud.
The Texas Southern University band, The Ocean of Soul, will be performing in the celebration.
This is why I love Michael Strahan. Because he reminds me of why something that happened on September 14, 1927, still matters.
Houston is a city with a history of great universities: Rice University, University of Houston, St. Thomas University, Houston Baptist University & Texas Southern University.
Texas Southern University, that descendent of the Colored Junior college, continues to offer the opportunity for an education to a diverse group of students in an amazing number of fields. And do it with well deserved pride.
What happens in the past, whether in the fall of 1927 in Houston, or yesterday, matters.
Although, as a Texans fan, I have high hopes for J.J. Watt to sack a few more.