As I walked through one of the buildings on the way back to my office today, I stopped to see the Bordersville Service Learning Project playing on a monitor mounted on the wall in the hallway. Dean Wolfe, Professor of History at Lone Star College-Kingwood, was explaining what the historical cemetery clean-up service project was all about. Through this service project, students not only earn extra credit for their volunteer work in keeping the cemetery clean, but they also learn about their past while preserving it for the future.
What really caused me to notice this video was hearing the name Bordersville. Bordersville, an unincorporated section of Harris County, Texas, was established in 1927 when the white citizens of Humble, Texas held a town meeting and unanimously decided to ask the Black citizens of the town to relocate to an undeveloped location on the outskirts of town. Jim Crow living was alive and well and a “request” like that (I’m sure it was more of a demand with consequences than a request) was nothing out of the ordinary for Black people to endure. Today, about 80% of this area was annexed by the city of Houston, while a small 20% of the area remains unincorporated.
So what does Bordersville have to do with me?
In August 2007, I became a member of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church which was started by the Black citizens of Humble, September 1, 1900. This church was moved by mule-team from the city of Humble to an undeveloped community nearby that became — Bordersville. According to church historians, right after the move, “St. Luke quickly became a physical and spiritual reservoir to the developing community.” 111 years later, St. Luke still is and continues to be a spiritual reservoir for the Humble community. To hear what Professor Wolfe and the students at LSC-Kingwood College are doing to preserve the Humble Negro Cemetery and the history of Bordersville in the video below is — so special!
More about this old Humble Negro Cemetery, visit Texas Artist, Patrick Feller’s excellent Flickr – “eclectic photo-stream” – as well as his Historic Cemeteries, Crypts, Vaults, and Burials collection!