Blinn College Blinn A to Z | Directory | About Us | Employment | Support Blinn     

Blinn’s Star of the Republic Museum celebrates Black History Month with unique presentation

Anne Zenor will tell her family’s story from enslavement to prosperity in Grimes County

February 1, 2016

Blinn College’s Star of the Republic Museum is celebrating Black History Month with a story of the lesser-known first settlers of Texas.

Anne Zenor will present, “Who am I? Tracing My Ancestry From the First 300 Who Came With Stephen F. Austin,” on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. at Star of the Republic Museum, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site off state Highway 105.  

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Zenor is a descendant of enslaved persons who were part of the “Old Three Hundred,” the settlers who received land grants in Stephen F. Austin’s first colony in the early 1800s. Many of the Old Three Hundred came from the Trans-Appalachian South and were of British ancestry. They were educated and financially secure, evidenced by the large number of slaveholders in the colony. By 1825, Austin’s Colony tallied 1,790 settlers, including 443 enslaved persons.
 Zenor will tell her family’s story from enslavement to prosperity in Grimes County.

“People take pride in being members of the Old Three Hundred, but they tend to ignore all of the people who came,” said Shawn Carlson, curator of exhibits. “No one wants to be forgotten. This presentation is a wonderful way to remember all of the first Texas settlers who shaped our state.”

Zenor is a graduate of the George Washington Carver School in Navasota. She attended Prairie View A&M University and the University of Houston before becoming an instructional assistant in special education for Navasota Independent School District. Since retiring, Zenor has taken up motivational speaking and is the associate pastor at Lee Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Navasota.

In addition to the presentation, a yearlong black history exhibit that opened Feb. 1, 2015, will remain on display through Sunday, Feb. 14. The exhibit, “Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th-Century Texas,” includes slave records, freedmen contracts, an example of the intricate Pine Burr pattern quilt and pottery from the first African American business in Texas.

Star of the Republic Museum is located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site off state Highway 105. It was created by the Texas Legislature and is administered by Blinn College as a cultural and educational institution. Daily museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 936-878-2461 or visit: www.starmuseum.org.