Public Schools in the Life of a Community
Public Schools in the Life of a Community:
Centering Black Youth in Austin's Stories
Monday, April 19, 2021
Online via Zoom
In 1970, when the Supreme Court mandated the de-segregation of Austin’s public schools, Austin’s organized black communities faced a radically different political landscape. Roxanne Evans’ award-winning coverage examined the decisions to close integrated Black majority high schools, the experience of busing, local Black mobilization for school boards and the renewed challenges in the 80s and 90s. Here, Roxanne Evans explores the ways these movements’ victories and challenges still shape local politics in Travis County.
Roxanne Evans is a graduate of Drake University who has worked for nearly three decades in journalism and more than a decade in public service and politics. Roxanne did extensive reporting on Iowa Black History for the Des Moines Register and Tribune and won an Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors’ First-Place Investigative Reporting award for her work on a series on Blacks in Iowa.
In 1983, she became a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman and within five years rose to become a member of the Editorial Board and served as Chief Editorial Writer. In 1988, Roxanne’s paper on “The History of Black Catholics in Texas,” was placed in the Schomburg Center Collection for Research in Black Culture in New York, with excerpts published in the Handbook of Texas.
She has also served as a deputy press secretary for Gov. Ann Richards. Roxanne was also a writer for African American publications such as the Dallas Examiner, African-American News and Issues, and has served as Editor-at-Large for Our Texas Magazine. She has served as a Communications Specialist for the Austin Independent School District and the City of Austin.
Roxanne was a partner in the former Texas Black History Preservation Project. She is now a member of the Texas Council on African American History and the advocacy committee of Preservation Austin.