Banner for "Piecing Together a Story of Courage" event

“Piecing Together a Story of Courage: Civil Rights in San Antonio”

The Coalition for the Woolworth Building invites you to discover local heroines and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement; historic images, recordings, and interviews keep their story paramount.  Learn from local experts how to preserve the materials and memories behind these vital stories.

Please join us for this free, public event from 11:30 to 2:00 at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico in Hemisfair Park.  The History Harvest will start early at 11:15 and continue until the main program starts at noon.  If you have historic materials to share with SAAACAM (see details at bottom of page), please arrive before noon.

The Videos

Start by screening “The Texas Sit-Ins, 1960” and “San Antonio, 1960: A Quiet Revolution.”  Learn how young African Americans helped re-energize the national Civil Rights Movement by protesting racial discrimination at public lunch counters across the South.  In San Antonio, Mary Lillian Andrews pushed the city to produce the first peaceful, voluntary lunch counter integration of the national sit-in movement.

Mexican Americans also struggled to obtain equal treatment. San Antonio: Cradle of Mexican American Civil Rights” provides an overview of San Antonio’s national prominence in addressing and promoting the rights of Mexican Americans in the face of widespread discrimination from the nineteenth century to the present.

The Discussion

Community-sourced archival images and recordings reveal the untold, local stories of Black and Brown struggle and achievement. Our panel of professionals discusses types of family and business items and their care,  the need for oral histories, and these documents’ value in creating a more inclusive and complete cultural history.  The panel includes:

Matt DeWaelsche, Archivist, San Antonio Public Library; curator of the African American Funeral Program Collection

Claudia Guerra, Cultural Historian, City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation; Cultural Mapping Project

Kenneth Stewart, Archivist, San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum

Dr. Sarah Zenaida Gould, Executive Director of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute, serves as our panel moderator.

Speakers will take questions after the discussion.  This is your chance to “Ask an Expert” and get personalized advice on preserving your historic items.

Sharing Your History

Participate in a History Harvest to help the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) grow its digital collection. Participants may bring 1 to 5 items, such as letters, family photographs, etc. Items up to 11” x 17” will be scanned as time permits. Please be prepared to sign a release form.

Please contact Beth Standifird at with any questions.

This image is copyrighted.