This Texas Highways’ web story is one of the most important news stories I have ever reported. It bolsters my award-winning journalism experience and current pursuit of the Ph.D. in history at the University of North Texas. Further, it contributes to research about Emily West and Hendrick Arnold, the two mixed-race African American historic figures who will forever be celebrated for their contributions to the Texas Revolution.
When I received an email from Texas Highways magazine asking if I would be interested in reporting about the Alamo’s first statues honoring African Americans who were part of the Texas Revolution, I squeezed it into my overcrowded schedule. What I discovered about them confirmed the wisdom of my late former Abilene Christian University mentor, Dr. Charlie Marler. During a phone call in December 2020, he said,“There aren’t enough African American historians. I want you to go back to school to become a historian!”
I am so glad I listened and followed Dr. Marler’s order to go back to school and that he witnessed my graduate studies in the history program at the University of Texas at Arlington. That achievement was possible thanks to scholarships from Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and he is also UTA professor emeritus. I look forward to researching, reporting, writing, and publishing many more neglected Black history stories for multimedia platforms, magazines, newspapers, academic journals, books, and yes, my future dissertation!
About the Author:
Regina L. Burns, M.A., Project+, is an award-winning multimedia editor and journalist, specializing in Black history and African American stories at Harvest Reapers Communications. Her work has been published in Texas Highways magazine, WFAA-TV, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as well as The Commercial Appeal, the Tri-State Defender and The Flyer, among others.