College of Liberal Arts
and Social Sciences

The University of Houston
402 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3000
Phone: 713-743-4002
Fax: 713-743-2990

News & Events

Integration at UH – Black and Brown perspectives

Symposia feature African American and Mexican American alums, novelist Attica Locke

Two public symposia hosted by CLASS units will explore the integration of the UH campus and civil rights activism in Houston through the eyes of students who were at the forefront of the change.

Novelist and native Houstonian Attica Locke
Novelist and native Houstonian Attica Locke

On Monday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m., award-winning author Attica Locke will be the keynote speaker for “Revolution on Cullen: The Personal Challenges of Integrating UH in the 1960s,” in the Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Ms. Locke will discuss her novel, “Black Water Rising,” which reflects on the tensions of student life at UH in the 1960s and will read from her newly released novel, “The Cutting Season.”

Ms. Locke’s father Gene Locke was among the first cohorts of African American students attending UH, which admitted its first black student in 1961. Mr. Locke, an activist, attorney and recent mayoral candidate, and Don Chaney, a former National Basketball Association player and coach, will also discuss their experiences as “firsts” at UH.

This event is co-sponsored by Department of Political Science, the African American Studies Program, the Center for Public History and the Honors College’s Phronesis Program in Politics and Ethics.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m., former students and members of the Mexican American Youth Organization will return to campus to talk about their campaign to establish a Mexican American Studies program at UH. The panel discussion will be in the UH Hilton Hotel Plaza Room and is free and open to the public.

When alums Jaime De La Isla, Mario Garza, Maria Jimenez, Eliot Navarro and Cynthia Perez were enrolled at UH more than 40 years ago, the Latino population at the university was less than 500 students. UH proudly carries the designation of Hispanic-Serving Institution, which recognizes that more than 25 percent of its 30,000 full-time undergraduates are Hispanic.

This event is one of many activities planned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Mexican American Studies. The Center will host its annual scholarship banquet on Thursday, November 8.

Chicano mural painted in 1973 by artists from the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and donated to the University of Houston.

Chicano mural painted in 1973 by artists from the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) and donated to the University of Houston. The mural was in the Cougar Den in the University Center until it was removed, cleaned and preserved for relocation inside the renovated University Center when construction is completed. Read more about the efforts to preserve the mural here.