79R10077 KO-D

By:  Jones of Dallas                                              H.R. No. 951

WHEREAS, The Texas Historical Commission is honoring the life of Henry Miller Morgan on July 25, 2005, with the dedication of an official historical marker at the site in Tyler of the first African American barber college, which Mr. Morgan founded; and WHEREAS, Born in 1895, Mr. Morgan grew up in Tyler's St. Louis community and completed his education at East Texas Academy, which later became Butler College; he is listed as a barber in the Tyler city directory as early as 1918, but in the 1920s, Texas enacted laws requiring licenses for barbers and African Americans were excluded from pursuing the required education; in response, Mr. Morgan began developing ideas for a barber college for African Americans, and in 1933 he opened a school on Erwin Street; and WHEREAS, The college proved so successful that this progressive leader opened branches in Houston in 1937, Jackson, Mississippi, in 1945, Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1946, Manhattan in 1948, and Dallas in 1949; the college's Tyler headquarters grew to accommodate the expanding enterprise, and at one time the school reportedly was training a majority of the nation's African American barbers; and WHEREAS, In addition to his work with the school, Mr. Morgan helped found the Texas Association of Tonsorial Artists, a professional barbers' organization that has since grown to encompass 13 chapters in 15 cities, as well as the Democratic Progressive Voters League, one of the oldest African American political organizations in the state; he also served as vice president of the Texas Association of Barber Schools and as a trustee of Butler College; and WHEREAS, Henry Miller Morgan died in 1961, but more than 40 years after his death, this greatly admired civic and political activist is being duly honored for the remarkable contributions he made to his profession and to the African American community, and the placement of a historical marker at the original location of the school he founded ensures that his remarkable story will be preserved for many years to come; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 79th Texas Legislature hereby commemorate the dedication of the Texas State Historical Marker at the site in Tyler of the first African American barber school and pay tribute to the life and legacy of Henry Miller Morgan.