Feb 27, 2023 - News

Social media series highlights forgotten Black towns

Illustration of the state of Texas lit by red, green and yellow lights.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Houston is constantly changing, but one content creator is making sure the city's Black history is not forgotten.

What's happening: For Black History Month this year, KeAndre' Jordan, who is known as "mysouthernbrand" and for highlighting the local Black food scene, launched a video series on TikTok and Instagram — where he has more than 200,000 followers — about the old towns near Houston that have a rich Black history.

Details: The "Forgotten Black Towns of Houston" series has highlighted seven towns as of Sunday: Butler's Crossing, Hufsmith, Tamina, Frenchtown, Freedmen's Town, Green Pond and Bordersville.

  • Several of the towns are recognized as Freedom Colonies, or towns where Black people bought land and established settlements from 1865 to 1930.
  • Jordan's videos cover the history and the culture of the town in its prime, as well as how the area has changed through redevelopment or gentrification.

What they're saying: "When it comes to the diversity that Houston focuses on, it overshadows the Freedom Colonies that people do not know about. A lot of the Freedom Colonies have been bulldozed," Jordan says.

  • "Houston's culture is predominantly Black culture. But we don't see that because of how Houston markets itself. And so I feel it's my job, as mysouthernbrand, is to really showcase Houston."

Between the lines: Jordan's posts have created a community space for Black residents. In the comment section of the "Forgotten Black Towns of Houston" videos, people share their own stories and talk about how their families still own property in the areas.

Of note: Jordan also launched a series in November called "Black people moving to Houston" where he shares where new Black residents are relocating and the culture in the area.

Flashback: Last year for Black History Month, Jordan created videos on historical Black areas, like Acres Homes and the Fifth Ward.

What's next: While Jordan launched the series for Black History Month, he says the reaction has been so positive that he will continue to highlight other forgotten Black towns.

Go deeper: Learn more about Freedom Colonies here.


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