Mission Statement

The mission of the Texas Black History Preservation Project is to comprehensively document the
history of the African American experience in Texas through an online encyclopedia. A long term
goal of the project is to provide a permanent repository to display that history.

Who We Are

The Texas Black History Preservation Project is an Austin, Texas-based, diverse non-profit research
group. Through this encyclopedia, the Project seeks to make free and readily accessible a wide-
ranging collection of information related to the black experience in Texas not only for younger
generations of African Americans, but to all Texans and anyone interested in the evolution,
progress, and accomplishments of Black Texans.

The Project is headed by Michael Hurd, managing editor, and Roxanne Evans, research director.

Roxanne Evans is a graduate of Drake University, and has worked in journalism for nearly three
decades and she has more than a decade of work in public service and politics. Roxanne did
extensive reporting on Iowa Black History for the Des Moines Register and Tribune in the late 70’s
and won an Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors’ First-Place Investigative Reporting award for
her work on a series on Blacks in Iowa. In 1983, she became a reporter at the Austin American-
Statesman and within five years rose to become a member of the Editorial Board and served as
Chief Editorial Writer. In 1988, Roxanne's paper on “The History of Black Catholics in Texas” was
placed in the Schomburg Center Collection for Research in Black Culture in New York with excerpts
published in the Handbook of Texas. She has also served as a deputy press secretary for Gov. Ann
Richards, and continues to write for African American publications such as the Dallas Examiner,
African-American News and Issues and has served as Editor-at-Large for Our Texas Magazine.
Currently, she is a Communications Specialist with the Austin Independent School District.

Michael Hurd is a native of Texarkana, Texas, but grew up in Houston, served in the U.S. Air
Force (including one year in Vietnam), and has a degree in journalism from UT-Austin. He began
his journalism career in 1979 at the now-defunct Houston Post, then to the Austin American-
Statesman and USA Today – all as a sportswriter, though he has also worked as an assistant city
editor for the Statesman, as well as a media coordinator for the UT-Austin development office. He is
the author of two books: “Black College Football, 1892-1992,” and
“Collie J., Grambling’s Man with
the Golden Pen.” (Collie J. Nicholson was the visionary publicist who put Grambling State
University on the map as football coach Eddie Robinson built one of the most powerful programs in
college football history. Collie was also the first black combat correspondent for the U.S. Marine
Corps.). Michael is also a former member of the National Football Foundation’s Divisional Honors
Court, the committee that selects coaches and players from non-Division 1 programs to the College
Football Hall of Fame. He has spoken on various black history topics to community groups and at
high schools as well as the University of Texas-Austin, UT-San Antonio, UT-El Paso, Prairie View
A&M, Livingstone College (Salisbury, North Carolina), and PBS. He also was the keynote speaker
to the East Texas Historical Association annual convention, and the Prairie View Interscholastic
League Coaches Assn. Hall of Honor banquet. He was featured in the film “First and Goal in the
Bronx,” a CBS Sports documentary about the first black college football game played in New York
City – Grambling vs. Morgan State at Yankee Stadium in 1968, and was included in the video
“Rites of Autumn, the Story of College Football.”
Texas Black History Preservation Project
Documenting the Complete African American Experience in Texas -- "Know your history, know yourself"