AFRICA, TEXAS. Africa is three miles southeast of Center in central Shelby County. This predominantly black community was settled in the last quarter of the nineteenth century by former slaves who cleared the heavily wooded area for farming. The focus of the community was originally a one-room building that served as a school and as a meetingplace for the congregation of St. John's Baptist Church. Later a building was constructed for the church. Residents also built a two-story town hall, which served as a school building and community center where lodge meetings and other social affairs were held. Although periodic attempts were made to establish other churches in the community, none of them was successful. The school had forty-seven students in 1899, twenty in 1903, and seventy-six in 1938. At one time Africa also had a gristmill, a syrup mill, and three stores. During the 1940s and 1950s the population of the area declined, and improved transportation led to the consolidation of the school district with the Center school district. By 1983 only St. John's Baptist Church, a cemetery, and a few houses remained.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Cecil Harper, Jr., "Africa, TX," accessed September 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hra71.
Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.