This is Texas Originals. From Humanities Texas, for the advancement of heritage, culture, and education.
Henry Allen Bullock devoted his life to advancing African American education in Texas—and made history in the process.
Bullock was born in North Carolina in 1906. He earned a doctorate in sociology at the University of Michigan. In 1930, he moved to Texas for an academic career spent largely at Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University.
In 1967, Bullock published a history of African American education in the South. The book earned him the Bancroft Prize, one of the highest honors in the field of American history. Bullock argued that, ironically, segregated schools sowed the seeds of their own demise. Though underfunded by the state, black teachers nurtured the sense of confidence, intellectual tools, and political strength that made the civil rights movement possible.
Bullock's activism was not limited to his teaching and research. He testified for the inclusion of African American history in Texas history textbooks and served on the Texas advisory committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In the fifties, he wrote a regular column for the Houston Informer.
In 1969, Bullock became the first African American appointed to the faculty of arts and sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, where he established the school's first ethnic studies program.
Bullock retired from UT in 1971 and returned home to Houston. He died in 1973.
For more information about this Texas Original, visit TexasOriginals.org. Texas Originals is produced by Houston Public Media, News 88.7, and Humanities Texas, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.