African American Heritage Project, 1904-2009 | East Texas Research Center

By Anne Kendall & Linda Reynolds

Collection Overview

Title: African American Heritage Project, 1904-2009Add to your cart.

ID: A/202

Primary Creator: Wade, Birdie Belle Davis

Extent: 6.5 Linear Feet

Subjects: African Americans -- Texas -- Nacogdoches County, Biographical sources, Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.), Genealogy, Nacogdoches (Tex.) -- Photograph collections, Women -- Texas -- Nacogdoches County

Abstract

The East Texas Research Center is the depository for the materials of the African American Heritage Project which was started by Birdie Wade. The ETRC is also in the process of creating an interactive and educational website for the African American Heritage Project.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Materials documenting the African American Community in East Texas. Materials include newspaper clippings, photographs and genealogy.

Collection Historical Note

Mrs. Birdie Belle Davis Wade was born in the Nat Community west of Nacogdoches in the 1920s. She was a loyal friend and a good family person. She interpreted "friend" and "family" in the broadest sense possible to mean more than her immediate relatives; Miss Birdie's "family" was her church, her community, her race, and in fact anyone who was in need of help in Nacogdoches. In addition to a long career as a homemaker and mother, Birdie had a distinguished career with the Texas Department of Human Services and the Nacogdoches Independent School District. As a humanitarian, she was instrumental in the establishment of such as the Harvey House, the Telephone Reassurance Program, the Nacogdoches Clean-Up Program, the Sharing Post, and served tirelessly on Parks Planning, Community Health, and Police Department Boards.

Birdie Wade founded and became the driving force behind Nacogdoches' African American Heritage Association and Project. The plans for what turned into the AAHP began in Mrs. Birdie's home around one of her famous suppers. (Birdie knew that getting everyone together to talk while they ate was a time-honored tradition in most cultures.) Birdie put together and ruled over a "salon" of people interested in preserving the Black Heritage of this East Texas area. She organized, managed, and inspired the project up until the time of her death in 2005.

The mission of the African American Heritage Project - to research about and bring into the public domain knowledge of the life and culture of the African American community - had to take a back seat to the collection of materials related to this interest. The Project had to begin with a search for documents, pictures, printed materials, and family archives that might relate to the subject. While the work of the Project has had some successes in the collection of documents, it has had to rely extensively on recording oral histories from all segments of the Nacogdoches community members regarding the historical aspects of African American life and culture. At considerable personal expense, Birdie kept the Project in the front of the community as a whole. She worked with the local Association of Black Ministers, the City Commission, the NISD, the Daily Sentinel, and planners of the Blueberry Festival to educate people in the region about the mission of the AAHP. She visited neighboring counties to enlist their support and lay out for them the possibility of getting a regional project underway. She helped to apply for grants to keep this project underway, but her efforts at securing grants did not bare much fruit during her lifetime. She did, however, secure the cooperation of many individuals. She also helped to secure the backing of the Nacogdoches County Historical Foundation and the City in efforts to preserve the Zion Hill Church building as a future home for a Black Heritage Museum. The collection of materials on African American Heritage now in the East Texas Research Center is Birdie Wade's legacy to the Project she founded. The best way to honor her memory is to continue her efforts to collect and preserve the heritage of the African American community in East Texas.

LIFE

Born: Nat Community of Nacogdoches County March 8, 1921

Died: Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005 in Nacogdoches.

Parents: Henry Davis and Frances Ann Wade

Spouse: Leon Wade

Daughters: Mary Wade Fraction, Ona Faye Wade Gee, Jo F. Wade West, Betsy L. Wade

Sons: Grimes "Chip" Wade, Anthony Wade, Robert Wade

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science, in Sociology 1976; Mrs. Wade was not able to attend college when she was younger.

CAREER

Texas Department of Human Services

Teacher with NISD

VOLUNTEER SERVICE

She helped organize:

The African American Heritage Association and Project in Nacogdoches County

The Nacogdoches Westwood Subdivision Home Owners' Association

The Nacogdoches Harvest House Committee

The Nacogdoches Westside Neighborhood Watch Program

The Nacogdoches Telephone Reassurance Program

The City of Nacogdoches Clean-Up Program

The Oak Hill Plaza Housekeeping and Child Care Skills Program

The Nacogdoches Sharing Post

The Center Point Quilting Club

She assisted in securing a grant for the Nacogdoches Soccer Field and Ritchie Park.

She also served with:

The East Texas Community Health Board

The Nacogdoches Police Department Board to Secure Resources

The Nacogdoches Master Parks Planning Committee

The Lanana Creek Trail Extension Committee

St. Paul's Methodist Church History Committee

HONORS AND AWARDS

2004 Woman of the Year by the American Association of University Women.

Received the Texas Volunteer Service Award during the Clements' administration.

Subject/Index Terms

African Americans -- Texas -- Nacogdoches County
Biographical sources
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Genealogy
Nacogdoches (Tex.) -- Photograph collections
Women -- Texas -- Nacogdoches County

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Finding Aid Revision History: Box 4, Folders 37 and 38 added 9/17/2012 by Kyle Ainsworth


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Painting, Newspapers, Newspaper clippings (oversized)],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[OH 1],
[Video 1],
[All]

Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Oral History transcript: Helena Abdullah by Brian King, 11/29/99Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Oral History transcript: Gale C. Benton (OH-163), April 29, 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Oral History transcript: Dr. Wilbert Brown by Jennifer Lyons, 11/23/99Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Oral History transcript: Almetrice Cormier by Kristen Blackwelder, 11/22/99Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Oral History transcript: Almetrice Cormier by Jennifer Lyons, 11/99Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Oral History transcript: Nowel Cotton (OH-165), 5/5/2003Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Oral History transcript: Anita Farr by Brian King, 11/24/99Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Oral History transcript: Jewell Flanagen by Kristen Blackwelder, 11/22/99Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Oral History transcript: Jewell Flanagen by Liza T. Powers, 11/18/99Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Oral History transcript: M.L. Glen by Kristen Blackwelder, 11/20/99Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Oral History transcript: Peggy Greer by Tim Nyberg, 11/24/99Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Oral History transcript: Bo McMichael by Josh Flores, 11/22/99Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Oral History transcript: Otis Sadler by Liza T. Powers, 11/30/99Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Oral History transcript: Otis Sadler Jr. [OH-131], 4/30/2003Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Oral History transcript: William Sanders by Dexter Satterwhite Jr., 11/10/99Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Oral History transcript: Charlotte Stokes by Jennifer Lyons, 11/30/99Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Oral History transcript: Carrie Tankersley by Birdie Wade [OH-112], 6/19/00Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Oral History transcript: Dorothy Tigner by Brian King, 11/17/99Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Oral History transcript: Roland Thomas by Josh Flores, 11/19/99Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Oral History transcript: Marion Upshaw by Josh Flores, 11/12/99Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Oral History transcript: Marion Upshaw by Dexter Satterwhite Jr., 11/2/99Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Oral History transcript: Birdie Wade by Dexter Satterwhite Jr., 11/3/99Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Oral History transcript: Birdie Wade by Tim Nyberg, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: Oral History transcript: Rufus Williams by Birdie Wade [OH-116] and [OH-113], 1/30/00,  2/13/00Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Photos- AAHP to Boys & Girls Club children, May 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Photos- Dr. Bill's history class' oral history project to AAHP, December 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Photos- AAHP meeting in East Texas Research Center, February 14, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Wade family genealogyAdd to your cart.
Folder 29: News clippingsAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Black Union Works on Civil Rights, June 19, 1970: Is Black Identity possible?,, May 2, 1967Add to your cart.
Item 2: Meaning of black power chief topic for panel, November 8, 1968Add to your cart.
Item 3: SFA aware of change, October 4, 1968Add to your cart.
Item 4: Local school enrollment climbs, classes crowded, September 9, 1960Add to your cart.
Item 5: Teacher added to local school staff, September 14, 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 30: News clipping- Ernest Sexton obituary, December 29, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 31: News clipping- First African American enrolled at SFA, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 32: News clippings on Nacogdoches protests & Mickey McGuireAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: March follows arrest of coed, April 25, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Nine arrested after downtown melee, May 14, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 3: City tightens security, May 15, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 4: $107,000 in bonds set for charges, May 16, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Bond reduced, McGuire released, May 22, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Local leaders hear airing of racial complaints, May 29, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 33: News clippingsAdd to your cart.
Item 1: 'Dixie' dies out at SFA, December 12, 1969Add to your cart.
Item 2: Letters-reader comments concern pollution, symbol, 'Dixie', December 19, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Arthur Weaver PapersAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Drawing of a hanging picture from a book (photocopy)Add to your cart.
Item 2: Letter to the editor, November 17, 1986Add to your cart.
Item 3: NAACP presents Black History Month, pictures, pamphlets, papers, books of past black history, black pioneers, black inventers, blacks in government through the 15th-19th centuriesAdd to your cart.
Item 4: Speech, "Young Americans!" by Arthur Weaver (photocopy), 1987Add to your cart.
Item 5: History of Black BusinessesAdd to your cart.
Folder 35: Oral History from the African American Education, Archives and History Program (Dallas, TX)Add to your cart.
Copies of transcripts
Item 1: Oral History transcript: Julia K. Jordan by Charmaine Price, 2/27/2009Add to your cart.
Item 2: Oral History transcript: L. W. Davis and Earl Riggs by Ronald Morgan, 2/27/2009Add to your cart.
Item 3: Oral History transcript: Hollis Brashear by Charmaine Price, 2/27/2009Add to your cart.
Item 4: Oral History transcript: Willa Francis Hughes-Proctor by Robert E. Edison, 12/6/2002Add to your cart.
Item 5: Oral History transcript: Roderick Albert Lewis by Charmaine Price, 2/27/2009Add to your cart.
Item 6: Oral History transcript: Ada L. Williams, 2/27/2009Add to your cart.
Item 7: Oral History transcript: Dr. Gwendolyn Clark by Dr. Rose Sorrells, 2/28/2009Add to your cart.
Item 8: Oral History transcript: Rev. Dr. Zan W. Holmes, Jr. by Dr. Rosie Collin Sorrells, 2/28/2009Add to your cart.
Item 9: Oral History transcript: Dr. Allen R. Sullivan by Dr. Rose Collins Sorrells, 2/28/2009Add to your cart.
Item 10: Oral History transcript: Diedrae Bell-Hunter by Dr. Joe Atkins, 3/10/2009Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Oral History from the African American Education, Archives and History Program (Dallas, TX)Add to your cart.
Copies of transcripts
Item 1: Oral History transcript: Rubidel Peoples about Robert Hester by Bobbie Lang, 2/28/2009Add to your cart.
Item 2: Oral History transcript: Concerning Dallas Education (video with 26 speakers), 1986Add to your cart.
Item 3: Oral History transcript: A Former Teacher of Hotchkiss Elementary SchoolAdd to your cart.
Item 4: Oral History transcript: African American Educators Hall of Fame Class, 2004Add to your cart.
(Video with 16 speakers)
Item 5: Oral History transcript: African American Educators Hall of Fame Class, 2006Add to your cart.
(Video with 9 speakers)
Folder 37: Richard Orton Contact Sheets and Negatives, 6/2000-8/2000Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Faye Rison Ancestry and GenealogyAdd to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Painting, Newspapers, Newspaper clippings (oversized)],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[OH 1],
[Video 1],
[All]

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