Black History in the RGV UTRGV student to present during Sunday Speaker Series Aug. 18

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Photo courtesy: Jillian Glantz

Texas Border Business

EDINBURG, Texas — Join the Museum of South Texas History in welcoming Jillian Glantz for her presentation, “Black History in the Rio Grande Valley,” on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. This year marks the 400th anniversary of slaves being brought to North America, and slaves can be traced to the Rio Grande Valley as far back as the 18th century. Glantz will discuss her research on a comprehensive history of African Americans in the Lower Valley and how their community has coexisted and intersected in a predominantly Hispanic region.

In many instances, the Valley was a safe haven for African Americans fleeing slavery and prejudice, but sometimes racial violence still found a place here. Many efforts have been made to acknowledge and preserve the contributions of the black community in the RGV, including historical markers and an annual Juneteenth service to celebrate the arrival of the Emancipation Proclamation to Texas shores. Black history in the Rio Grande Valley is little known but quite rich, with families that have been here for generations. 

Glantz is a senior at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley studying political science, criminal justice, and Mexican American studies. She grew up in Dallas before spending several years in Austin directing short films and working on projects with talent such as Richard Linklater and Al Pacino. After a stint teaching English in Beijing, Glantz returned to the states and eventually made her way down to the Valley, where she is completing her bachelor’s degree. She is the recipient of the Engaged Scholar Award for Creative Works for her featurelength documentary on crypto-Judaism in South Texas, “Remember My Soul,” which was recently requested by the Library of Congress for their collection on crypto-Judaic studies. She recently interned for the Buffet-McCain Institute’s Initiative to Combat Human Slavery and works as a student assistant with the UTRGV CHAPS program.


Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.

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