The Rio Grande Valley is majority Hispanic but there are and were a few people of African descent who settled in this region. To learn more about this complex history, Dr. Jamie Starling, a professor at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, will present “Afro-Mexican Spaces and Legacies on the Rio Grande” at the Sunday Speaker Series Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

The presentation will discuss the accounts of people of African descent along the Spanish-Mexican frontier of the lower Rio Grande. Most of the research was derived from the legacy of the “Hacienda de Miguel Pérez” in present-day Starr County. The ranch was home to a number of servants of African and Native American heritage. Afro-Mexicans also became soldiers, landholders, and political leaders of note in the region, especially in the first decades after Mexican independence.

Starling has a doctorate’s degree in history from the University of Texas – El Paso and has published articles on intermarriage during the U.S.-Mexico War (American Catholic Studies), Afro-Mexicans in South Texas (The Journal of South Texas), and Catholicism in the colonial period (Password). Starling is the co-founder of the Global Latin America lecture and engagement series at UTRGV.

Sunday Speakers Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.

About Museum of South Texas History

The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.