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The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Desegregation, 1945–1984

The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Desegregation, 1945–1984 Opened in 1929, Our Mother of Mercy in Frenchtown was Houston’s first Creole of color church. Source: Wikimedia Commons, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OurMo therofMercyChurchHouston.JPG> [Accessed March 26, 2020]. 2009 Article 17 The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Galveston- Houston and Desegregation, 1945–1984 By Mark Newman* orn in Houston in 1943, Madeline E. Johnson, a member of St. Nicholas, an African American Catholic church founded in BHouston’s Third Ward in 1887, recalled that in her youth she and a cousin once attended Mass at Our Mother of Mercy, a Creole of color church in the Fifth Ward. To her shock and surprise, an usher pushed her and her cousin aside at the altar rail until the last Creole had received communion. Many Creoles of color, who had a mix of French and African (and sometimes Spanish and Native American) ancestr y and often spoke French or a French- and African- influenced Creole language, did not consider themselves black as segregation laws categorized them, but to be a distinct group, based on their racial and cultural characteristics. Creoles of color, Johnson remembered, “thought they were better than us. We had segregation within segregation.” * Mark Newman is reader in history at the University http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southwestern Historical Quarterly Texas State Historical Association

The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Desegregation, 1945–1984

Southwestern Historical Quarterly , Volume 124 (1) – Jul 3, 2020

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Publisher
Texas State Historical Association
Copyright
Copyright © The Texas State Historical Association.
ISSN
1558-9560

Abstract

Opened in 1929, Our Mother of Mercy in Frenchtown was Houston’s first Creole of color church. Source: Wikimedia Commons, <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OurMo therofMercyChurchHouston.JPG> [Accessed March 26, 2020]. 2009 Article 17 The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Galveston- Houston and Desegregation, 1945–1984 By Mark Newman* orn in Houston in 1943, Madeline E. Johnson, a member of St. Nicholas, an African American Catholic church founded in BHouston’s Third Ward in 1887, recalled that in her youth she and a cousin once attended Mass at Our Mother of Mercy, a Creole of color church in the Fifth Ward. To her shock and surprise, an usher pushed her and her cousin aside at the altar rail until the last Creole had received communion. Many Creoles of color, who had a mix of French and African (and sometimes Spanish and Native American) ancestr y and often spoke French or a French- and African- influenced Creole language, did not consider themselves black as segregation laws categorized them, but to be a distinct group, based on their racial and cultural characteristics. Creoles of color, Johnson remembered, “thought they were better than us. We had segregation within segregation.” * Mark Newman is reader in history at the University

Journal

Southwestern Historical QuarterlyTexas State Historical Association

Published: Jul 3, 2020

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