Shankleville Community Oral History Interviews Now Online

Oral history interviews from the Shankleville Community Oral History Collection are now available online!

The Shankleville Community Oral History Collection contains photographs, documentation, select interview transcriptions, and 11 oral history interviews recounting the history of Shankleville, Texas. The interviews from this collection are the first audiovisual materials to be included in the newly expanded UT Libraries Collections portal.

Shankleville, Texas, is an historic freedom colony located in north-central Newton County in east Texas. Freedom colonies, also known as freedom communities, Black settlements, Black enclaves, or freedmen’s towns, were independent communities founded from 1856 to 1920 by African Americans. Shankleville was founded in 1867 by Jim and Winnie (Bush) Shankle, the first African Americans in Newton County to purchase land after emancipation. It is estimated that there are over 550 in the state of Texas.

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