Honoring Black History Month - Churches and Businesses
In celebration of Black History Month 2021, The History Center will draw attention to several of its collections that help to tell the story of African Americans in Angelina and the surrounding counties. After a hiatus due to weather, we continue by highlighting collections that focus on local African American businesses and churches.
First up is the Shiloh Reporter, a nearly 40-page book that serves as a history of Diboll's Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church from 1903 to 1966. This book, similar to an annual or yearbook, features photographs of church members, trustees, and pastoral staff. Since the life of Diboll's African American community was centered around its churches and its schools, the Shiloh Reporter also includes photographs of Diboll's African American school. This document gives present-day Dibollians a glimpse into Diboll's African American community and its institutions, including the schools, churches, civic organizations, and businesses prior to the integration of Diboll's schools.
The second document this week is The Mirror (1955-1956), a 176 page book published by the Lufkin Negro Chamber of Commerce and Dunbar High School. Its purpose was to further develop public interest in community welfare at a time when environmental health was found to be lacking. It includes many photographs of Lufkin's racially segregated black community, including schools, churches, and businesses. The Lufkin Negro Chamber of Commerce was organized in April 1940 to advance education, encourage better community relations, and improve standards of living within Lufkin's black community.