Historic Third Ward
Houston’s history lives in the Third Ward, which extends south of downtown to Old Spanish Trail and east to the University of Houston. It is considered the city’s most diverse African-American neighborhood and has been called a microcosm of Houston’s broader black community.
Created in 1836 when the City Council established wards as political subdivisions, the neighborhood has emerged over the years as a bustling, dynamic center of activity. Although in many ways it has preserved its heritage and character, Third Ward is also creating new economic opportunities, thanks to budding entrepreneurs, thriving small businesses, growing investment and development, and new single-family houses. And civic clubs, churches, and nonprofits continue to serve as social and cultural touchstones for the community and its residents.
The area is also home to two historically significant museums: the Buffalo Soldiers Museum, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of African-American soldiers from the Revolutionary War to the present; and the Houston Museum of African-American Culture, which explores the stories of Africans and African Americans in Houston, Texas, the Southwest, and beyond through exhibitions, lectures, and thoughtful programming.
Third Ward’s creative legacy is underscored by the long line of famed jazz and blues artists who have called the neighborhood home, including famed artists like Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, Albert Collins, Arnett Cobb, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. On a more contemporary musical note, superstar singer Beyonce also grew up in the community.
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