Ella Sauls Morrison

Mrs. Morrison is the Great grand niece of John Woods. John Woods was the first freed slave in Travis county. Mrs. Morrison is the 1964 Valedictorian of the segregated Hopewell High School after being denied admission to Round Rock High School in the fall of 1963. This was 10 years after federal law outlawed school segregation. She became a licensed vocational nurse from Brackenridge School of Vocational Nursing at a time when African Americans and males were not allowed to attend Brackenridge Hospital's Registered Nursing School. She received her nursing degree from from The University of Texas in 1983 and was Seton Hospitals Nurse of the Year in 1993. Mrs. Morrison is an active member of several Round Rock organizations. Today, she is still an active and integral part of the continued fight for equity in Williamson County.

RRISD Black Student Unions

Various Round Rock ISD campuses have this student-run group.

  • High Schools: Cedar Ridge, Early College, McNeil, Round Rock, Stony Point

  • Middle Schools: C.D. Fulkes, Grisham, Hernandez, Walsh

Hopewell Negro School

Closed in 1966, Hopewell originally served all Black students in RRISD. The 1954 Supreme Court Case, Brown vs the Board of Education, ruled separate but equal schools was unconstitutional. Yet, many school districts weren't desegregated until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so a little more than 10yrs passed before RRISD implemented the change in 1966.

Huston-Tillotson

Huston-Tillotson University is a Historically Black College and University located in Austin, TX

Fall 2021-22 an Ethnic Studies course on African American History will be offered to all middle and high schools in Round Rock ISD.

Joe Lee Johnson

Johnson has a long history with Round Rock ISD, first as a student at the Hopewell Negro School, and eventually serving as principal of the school through its desegregation in 1966.

Rev. Anthony Mays

The first and only African American student allowed to enroll in Round Rock High School in 1964. Rev. Mays graduated in the top 10 percent of the Round Rock High School class of 1967, was a member of National Honor Society and was named a finalist for Outstanding Negro Students National Merit Scholarship. He attended the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with an English degree.

Rodney Page

Rodney Page was the first African American coach of any sport at the University of Texas at Austin and first women's basketball head coach at the university. He is a former teacher at McNeil and Round Rock High Schools and in Austin Independent School District. In 2001, Mr. Page created two mentoring groups, and now works with Success High School in Round Rock ISD through the Phoenix Rising Young Men's Group.

Henrietta Lacks

Doctors and researchers harvested her cervical cells without consent which were used to create the immortal cell line known as the HeLa cell.

Emmett Till

14 year old whose murder served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.

Bayard Rustin

"The unknown hero” of the civil rights movement, Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the homophobic 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His open sexuality forced him to remain in the background of the Civil Rights movement.

Howard University

Considered a "Black Ivy League School" Howard was founded in 1867 and is a prominent Historically Black College and University.

W.E.B. Dubois

The first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and co-founder of the NAACP.

Ruby Bridges

At six, she was the first student to integrate after Brown vs. BOE

Medgar Evers

Field Officer for the NAACP, Evers was murdered outside of his home in an ambush.

Ida B. Wells

Born into slavery, Wells became a prolific writer, highlighting injustice and traveling the world to raise awareness on lynching.

Ava Duvernay

The first African American director to be nominated for Best Picture.

Misty Copeland

The first African-American performer to be appointed as a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre

Jason Reynolds

New York Times Best Selling Author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Kendrick Lamar

First non-jazz/classical musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for music

Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell

Photographer showcases African American history highlighting subjects as diverse as slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, women’s rights, and other cultural issues. Each work celebrates a rich diversity designed to encourage young minds to dream and follow their purpose. Her artistry is featured in exhibitions across the country including Round Rock Public Library and Austin City Hall. Also former staff member of Walsh Middle School.

Me & the Bees Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer started her lemonade business in 2009 in Austin, TX

Dr. Mae Jemison

the first African-American female astronaut and in 1992, she became the first African-American woman in space.

Billie Holliday

Also known as Lady Day, her autobiography was made into the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues. In 2000, Billie Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1968 Summer Olympics

Tommie Smith and John Carlos protested racial inequality during the national anthem of the Olympics held in Mexico City

Dr. Kenneth Dunkley

Inventor of 3D glasses.

Betty Reid Soskin

At 99, she is the nation’s oldest park ranger

Matthew Henson

was an African American explorer best known as the co-discoverer of the North Pole with Robert Edwin Peary in 1909

Chance the Rapper

is a hip-hop artist, producer and social activist whose mixtape 'Coloring Book,' is the first album to win a Grammy based solely on streaming.


Dr. Marian Wright Edelman

Best known for her legal advocacy on behalf of African-Americans during and after the Civil Rights Movement. She founded the Children’s Defense Fund .

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American congresswoman in 1968. Four years later, she became the first major-party black candidate to make a bid for the U.S. presidency.

Little Rock Nine

On September 4, 1957, the first day of classes at Central High, Governor Orval Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to block integration. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort the Little Rock Nine into the school.

Coretta Scott King

Best known for her work with the civil rights movement. She took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and worked to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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