Adversities and Accomplishments

 Historical photo of integrated CCC company

African-Americans in Texas

Three costumed Buffalo Soldier reenactorsAfrican-Americans in Texas endured slavery and racism during the 1800s and 1900s. Slaves worked on cotton plan­ta­tions, on farms and ranches, and as domestic servants.

After the Civil War, new options emerged. Some freed­men joined the military and guarded forts along the Texas frontier. However, second-class status continued well into the 20th century.

During the Great Depression, government jobs programs sep­a­rated workers by race. Af­ri­can-American Civilian Con­ser­va­tion Corps companies built five state parks in Texas, and yet blacks could not enter many public sites in the state until the 1960s.  

Buffalo Soldiers

Joining the U.S. Army offered freed­men the chance to improve their economic standing. Buffalo Soldiers was the moniker of those who enlisted and served in all-black units. In Texas, the Army stationed the Ninth Infantry along the state’s western edge. 

CCC Parks built by African-American companies

CCC workers building the concession building at Palmetto SPAfrican-American CCC men in Texas first served in “mixed” companies of white and black recruits. In 1935, social and political pressure led to segregated groups. Some communities welcomed the all-black units, while others rejected them based on race.

African-American companies built Daingerfield, Fort Parker, Goose Island, Palo Duro Canyon, Abilene, Huntsville, and Palmetto state parks.

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

Stationed at Fort Clark in the late 1800s, the U.S. Army’s Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts gave the canyon its name.  The soldiers repelled Apache and Comanche attacks and guarded a wide area. They were renowned for their bravery and fighting skills.

Recovering From the Great Depression

Financial collapse, un­em­ploy­ment, and dust storms affected millions of American families in the 1930s.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to get the nation back on its feet. He created a series of work programs to pump money into the economy, create jobs, and protect natural resources. These programs built state and national parks and improved American infrastructure. 

CCC Parks

Texas State Parks owe much to the Civilian Con­ser­vation Corps. The CCC provided jobs and training to unem­ployed young men. CCC workers built parks across the state! Texas’s CCC parks continue to delight visitors with their scenic beauty and distinctive architecture.

Learn more about parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


Return to main History & Culture page.


Proud Sponsor