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Week in Review, February 23

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Examine how millennials’ consumer behavior will affect freight in Texas. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, January 2017)
  • Read about garbage in the Arctic Ocean. (CityLab, February 16, 2017)
  • Consider federal funding sources in the state budget. (Legislative Budget Board, January 2017)
  • Review statewide recidivism rates. (Legislative Budget Board, January 2017)
  • See where Fortune 500 businesses are headquartered. (Fortune, accessed on February 23, 2017)

New & Noteworthy List for February 2017

New & Noteworthy List for February 2017 Request Form (PDF)

In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting books by or about African Americans from our collection. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, please contact the library at 463-1252. 

1. Anti-Black Violence in Twentieth-Century Texas By Bruce A. Glasrud, editor.
Provides a striking collection of essays by historians, journalists, and writers on the history of racial violence against African Americans in Texas. Demonstrates the persistence of racial violence across time, from lynchings in Lamar County (1890-1920) to the beating of Billy Ray Johnson in 2003. Argues that to understand present-day race relations, the violence against African Americans in the past must be examined.
Texas A&M University Press, 2015. 209 pages.
305.896 G463 2015


2. Black Intellectual Thought in Education: The Missing Traditions of Anna Julia Cooper, Carter G. Woodson, and Alain LeRoy Locke By Carl A. Grant, Keffrelyn D. Brown, and Anthony L. Brown
Presents the history of black intellectual thought through the eyes of three prominent black academic scholars. Celebrates the contributions of Anna Julia Cooper, Carter G. Woodson (known as the Father of Black History Month), and Alain Leroy Locke, to the causes of social science, education and democracy in America. Offers a powerful counter-narrative to the educational discourse and critical social theory established in the mainstream of American thought. Highlights ideas that should be examined to deal with prevailing educational issues of today.
Routledge, 2016. 185 pages.
371.829 G767 2016



3. Black Women in Texas History By Bruce A. Glasrud and Merline Pitre, editors.
Looks at how African American women have been shaped by the larger culture as well as how these women have affected the culture and history of Texas. Compiles essays written by era experts to survey African American women's experiences through time and themes, including slavery and freedom, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Era, and more. Argues that often-disenfranchised black women actively pursued ways to make their voices heard and build community.
Texas A&M University Press, 2008. 248 pages.
325.26 B64W 2008



4. Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore By Francis Edward Abernethy, Patrick B. Mullen, and Alan B. Govenar, editors.
Presents a wide variety of viewpoints on African-American folklore in Texas, including personal memoirs, essays describing various aspects of African-American folk culture and specific genres of songs and stories, and theoretical scholarly articles. Includes an essay on the history of the Juneteenth celebration in Texas, highlighting the path to establishing it as an official state holiday with the passage of HB1016, 66th Legislature.
University of North Texas Press, 1996. 364 pages.
398 AB37 1996



5. Playing in Shadows: Texas and Negro League Baseball By Rob Fink
Explores the significant role African American baseball teams in Texas and black Texans had in shaping the state's African American communities and building community pride and racial identity. Profiles the prominent role of Texan Andrew "Rube" Foster and his leadership in forming the Negro National League, the first black national professional league. Examines black newspapers and uses oral history interviews and autobiographies to flesh out the activities of specific players and Texas' own professional Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana League of 1929 to 1931.
Texas Tech University Press, 2010. 165 pages.
796.357 F495P 2010



6. The Ground on Which I Stand: Tamina, a Freemen's Town By Marti Corn
Chronicles the lives, dreams, and spirit of the people of Tamina, a rural community north of Houston, established by newly freed slaves in 1871. Presents a multifaceted portrait of twelve descendent families through intimate photographs and oral histories gathered from residents who represent a variety of backgrounds. Shares stories of challenges and opportunities along with the residents' deep pride and love for Tamina.
Texas A&M University Press, 2016. 140 pages.
976.4153 C814 2016



7. The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era By Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
Presents the story of the black elites who thrived in the nation’s capital during reconstruction, told through the life of Daniel Murray (1851-1925), who was appointed Assistant Librarian at the Library of Congress and considered a prominent member of this “elite” class. Chronicles the rise and calculated fall of upper-class African Americans, a group of prominent educators, doctors, senators and lawyers, from Emancipation through Reconstruction to the Jim Crow Era. Includes photographs and maps.
Amistad Publishers, 2017. 498 pages.
973.04 T213 2017


Research Minute: Finding Sunset Bills

Every legislative session, about 20-30 agencies go through the Sunset process—the regular assessment of the continuing need for a state agency or program to exist. The Sunset Advisory Commission submitted its Report to the 85th Legislature on Friday, Feb. 10. Per Sunset procedures, an agency, program, policy, or law will be abolished on its "sunset" date unless the legislature passes a bill to continue it. Such bills often enact revised policies as recommended in the review process.

Wondering how you can find these bills? The Sunset Commission recently added a page dedicated to the 85th Legislature where you can see which agencies were reviewed and what bills have been filed. They also are tweeting Sunset bills as they are filed.


In addition, you can find Sunset bills on Texas Legislature Online. Select "Search" from the top navigation, and pull down to "Bill Search." From that screen, go to the Subjects section and click on "Select subject criteria." This will pull up the box as seen below. (If your pop-up blocker is enabled, you may have to tell it to allow this exception.) Do a search for "sunset," then select "Sunset--Commission Bills (I0772). Click on the right arrow to move it to your "Selected" subjects, then click OK to return to the main Bill Search screen.

From here, you can click on "Search" in the top right corner, and you will get your results. You can refine your results to particular subjects of interest, look back at past years' sunset bills, and more.


Week in Review, February 16

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Examine federal funding that goes to cities considered sanctuary cities. (Open the Books, February 2017)
  • Read about the impact of arts education in Texas. (Texas Cultural Trust, 2017)
  • Explore a hundred years of transportation in Texas. (Texas Department of Transportation, 2017)
  • Consider policy proposals related to sexual orientation and gender identity. (The Heritage Foundation, February 13, 2017)


Texas Legislative Guides: 85th Regular Session

This post includes a list of guides published by Texas legislative agencies to assist you in following the legislative process. These guides will help you track and read a bill, understand the terminology used in the Texas Legislature, learn about issues facing the Legislature, and much more.


Texas Legislative Information and Resources, prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council for the 85th Legislature (2017).
Identifies resources for locating information that is available about current and past legislation.

Research Spotlight: Legislative Lexicon, prepared by the Texas Senate Research Center (2017).
Provides definitions of words, terms, and phrases used in the Legislature.

Reading Statutes and Bills, prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council (2017).
Presents a basic overview of Texas statutes and bills, as well as tips for reading and understanding them.

Topics for the 85th Legislature, by House Research Organization (2016).
Highlights many of the issues the 85th Legislature may consider during its 2017 regular session.

Texas Legislative Glossary, prepared by the Texas Legislative Council for the 85th Legislature.
Defines terms related to the legislative process in Texas.


Issues Facing the 85th Texas Legislature, prepared by the Texas Senate Research Center (2017).
Outlines broad categories and topics of interest for the 85th Legislature.





New Texas African American Monument

The newest monument on the Texas Capitol grounds, unveiled on November 19, 2016, is dedicated to African Americans in Texas. Located on the South Capitol grounds, the monument is made up of bronze panels depicting the historical contributions of African Americans to Texas over the state's long history.


Legislative History

The monument has a legislative history that goes back over 25 years. In 1991, Sen. Rodney Ellis and Rep. Al Edwards passed SCR 49, 72R, directing the State Preservation Board to explore opportunities to revere and honor some of the outstanding historical figures from all ethnic cultures with regard to new monuments on the Capitol grounds. In the following session in 1993, Ellis and Rep. Garnet Coleman passed SCR 97, 73R, directing the State Preservation Board to include in its long-range master plan for the Capitol grounds a permanent monument in tribute to African American and Mexican American Texans.


Later, in 1997, Rep. Al Edwards and Sen. Jerry Patterson passed HB 1216, 75R. The bill created the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission and gave it a mission to collect and commemorate the history of Juneteenth, the day that marks the arrival of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. At that time, Edwards envisioned the monument as an Emancipation Juneteenth memorial monument.


The 1997 bill was followed by several more legislative measures:
    •  HB 1865, 76R, by Edwards and Sen. Royce West, Relating to the operations of the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission.
    •  HB 1368, 76R, by Edwards and Sen. Chris Harris, Relating to the site of the Emancipation Juneteenth memorial monument.
    •  HCR 176, 81R, by Edwards and Sen. Tommy Williams, Expressing continued support for the establishment of a Juneteenth memorial monument on the grounds of the State Capitol at the location previously approved by the State Preservation Board.


In 2011, during the 82nd Regular Session, legislators expanded the scope of the monument to provide a broader representation of African American history in Texas. The bill that made these changes was SB 1928, 82R (by Ellis and Rep. Alma Allen), relating to an African American Texans memorial monument on the Capitol grounds; SCR 51, 82R (by Ellis and Allen) expressed the legislature's support for this shift in the monument's subject matter. The dedication program includes lists of those who served on the Texas African American History Memorial Committee, donors, and others who have been involved with the project.


The monument features notable Texas African Americans including Estevanico de Dorantes (the first African to set foot on Texas soil), Hendrick Arnold (a special agent in the Battle of the Republic and in the Indian wars), and Sam McCullough (one of the first casualties of the Texas Revolution). Emancipation is the central core element of the memorial, featuring a 9-foot-high image of a male and female slave having broken the bonds of slavery, dedicated to the 182,500 slaves that were freed on June 19, 1865. Also illustrated are the slave experience, from arrival to slaves' work in the fields and industry, and depictions of Black Texans' contributions to the state, from the Buffalo Soldiers to musicians to astronauts. To learn more about the monument, please see


Did you know?

Ed Dwight, the sculptor who designed and created the African American Texans monument, also created the memorial to Congressman (and former Texas legislator) Mickey Leland at Houston's Intercontinental Airport.


Governor's Proposed Budget

You may have already seen the Comptroller's Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) and the House and Senate's respective appropriations bills. You also can view Gov. Abbott's proposed budget in the library's governors database by clicking on "governor budgets" in our popular searches.


Additional budget information is available on the library's state budget page.


Week in Review, February 9

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Examine the quality of education in each state. (American Legislative Exchange Council, January 24, 2017)
  • Consider the relationship between workforce health and productivity. (Health Affairs, February 2017)
  • Explore school choice resources. (National Conference of State Legislatures, February 3, 2017)
  • Review the economic value of public libraries in Texas. (IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin, February 3, 2017)
  • Read about the economic impact of human trafficking in Texas. (Bureau of Business Research at The University of Texas at Austin, December 2016)


Bills in the News: Transportation Network Companies

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.


Bill search


Try using the subject VEHICLES FOR HIRE (S0795) to find bills related to transportation network companies.






Week in Review, February 2

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Examine Governor Greg Abbott's proposed budget for 2018-2019. (Office of the Governor, January 2017)
  • Review Texas education statistics in brief. (Texas Education Agency, January 2017)
  • Read about how Texas is adapting to the changing workforce environment. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, December 2016)
  • Explore data security laws by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 16, 2017)

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