The Texas Freedom Colonies Project is an educational and social justice initiative dedicated to supporting the preservation of Black settlement landscapes, heritage, and grassroots preservation practices through research

We Invite You to Join Our Community of Practice

Explore the Atlas, add a place, fill out a survey, add to the cemetery registry, safekeep photos and documents related to a freedom colony, and more

The Texas Freedom Colonies Project: Supporting Freedom Colonies’ Community Resilience

Our goal is to prevent the erasure, destruction, and decay of cultural properties within Black settlements in partnership with descendant communities. Cultural properties include homes and farmsteads, churches, cemeteries, fraternal organization halls, and schools. We do this by

  • Recording and safeguarding stories and materials associated with freedom colonies’ origins & decline
  • Hosting and maintaining an interactive, publicly accessible Atlas & Database of freedom colony locations including GIS layers indicating development and ecological threats
  • Identifying resources for and co-developing community resilience strategies and policies with freedom colony descendants using the contents of the Atlas and Database

The Texas Freedom Colonies Project puts freedom colonies on the map, on policy agendas, and at the center of Texas history

From 1865-1930, African Americans accumulated land and founded 557 historic black settlements or freedom colonies. Since their founding, freedom colony descendants have dispersed, and hundreds of settlements’ status and locations are unknown.

Gentrification, cultural erasure, natural disasters, urban renewal, & land dispossession have all contributed to their decline. Freedom colony descendants’ lack of access to technical assistance, ecological and economic vulnerability, and invisibility in public records have quickened the disappearance of these historic Texas communities.

“What do we need to do? We have to stay involved. We have to educate ourselves, and we have to be bold to fight against this systematic racism and institutionalized racism whenever we see it. We need partners and allies and other individuals to join in the fight to make this happen, so hopefully, we can make Juneteenth a national holiday, and we can continue to educate the public.”
Sam Collins, Coffee Talk Guest & Texas Freedom Colony Descendant
“I have learned so much through my time working for The Texas Freedom Colonies Project, not only about Freedom Colonies and Black History in Texas, but also about what it means to be a truly grassroots initiative. This project voices Black Texans & fosters a space for Black Texans to tell the stories of their communities, and allows others to learn about real Texas history from these stories”
Kendall Girault, Former TxFCP Team Member & Volunteer