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East Central Houston

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The East End of Houston became in the twentieth century the portion of the city where manufacturing, especially the production of specialized technology for the oil industry, was centered because of proximity to railroad lines, the Houston Ship Channel, and the oil and petrochemical refineries built along the channel. Working-class residential neighborhoods, including those of African Americans and Mexican immigrants, followed.

The historically African American community in Third Ward is bordered on its south edge by middle-income white communities developed in the 1920s where a noticeable portion of Houston's European and Jewish immigrant population settled. It was on this “color line” between Third Ward and these neighborhoods that what is now Texas Southern University ( HN7), Houston's historically African American public university, was permanently located just after World War II, seven blocks east of the campus where its historically white counterpart, the University of Houston ( HN7), had been located in 1939.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.

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