Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Christia V. Adair Collection MSS.0109

Descriptive Summary

Creator Adair, Christia V.
Title: Christia V. Adair Collection
Dates: 1893-1989
Abstract: This collection contains manuscripts and items from the life of Christia V. Adair.
Identification: MSS.0109
Quantity: 10.0 Linear feet, 7 boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Christia Adair was a black suffragette. In her later life, she actively campaigned for civil rights for blacks in Houston and in Texas. Born in Victoria, Texas in 1893, to uneducated parents, she attended Samuel Houston College in Austin and Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M), attaining a teaching certificate in 1914.

After her graduation, she moved to Edna to work as a teacher, marrying Elbert Adair in 1918. The two moved to Kingsville, where she worked with whites for women's suffrage. Although Congress granted women the right to vote, Christia soon found that this act did not include black women. After attending a rally for then-President Warren Harding, who ignored her children to shake the hands of white children standing behind them, Christia became a lifelong Democrat. In doing so, she broke with black political tradition.

After moving to Houston in 1925, she became one of the founding members of the Houston branch of the NAACP. She held the position of executive secretary from 1943 to 1955. In 1952, Christia helped form the Harris County Democrats, an anti-segregation section of the local party. She also helped found the Harris County Council of Organizations, which encouraged black voting. In 1966, she and Judson Robinson, Jr. became the first blacks elected to the Democratic Executive Committee. At first the local organization refused to seat them, but relented and said it would allow Adair and Robinson to be seated. Out of principle, she refused, because two other blacks were not allowed to take their seats. After retiring from the NAACP in 1959, she worked as a precinct judge.

In addition to political activities, Christia worked throughout her life with the Methodist Church and various women's organizations, such as the National Association of Colored Women's and Girls' Clubs.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains manuscripts and items from the life of Christia V. Adair.


Access Restrictions

Photographs may be accessed only with the approval of an archivist.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Christia V. Adair Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Index Terms
Adair, Christia V.
Democratic Party (U.S.)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
African Americans--Suffrage
African Americans--Texas--Houston
Civil rights
Race relations

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Christia V. Adair Collection. MSS 109. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mrs. Willie L. Gay.

Processing Information

Processed by Suzanne L. Summers, 1990.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Political Materials

Box Folder
1 1 Exhibit materials, Houston Public Library
2 1953, 1957, Correspondence on Democratic Party involvement in elections, 1964, 1968, 1975
3 Newspaper clippings on the Democratic Party
4 Correspondence on Gertrude Barnstone and the Harris County Democrats
5 Newspaper clippings on the Democratic Party
6 Election materials, 1894
7 Election returns, Victoria Co., TX, 1896
8 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
9 Miscellaneous minutes and financial records of the Houston City Association of Women's Clubs, 1960's-1970's
10 Newspaper clippings on Curtis Graves
11 Newspaper clippings on the Democratic Party

Church Materials

Box Folder
2 1 Notes on church activities
2 "A Manual for the Local Church Commission on Christian Social Concerns"; assorted pamphlets
3 Notes on church activities
Box Folder
3 1 Old church materials -- Woman's Society of Christian Service

Political and Civil Rights Materials

Box Folder
3 2 Newspaper clippings on precinct activities; some election records
3 Newspaper clippings on integration problems, 1957-1958
4 Houston Association for Better Schools material
5 Newspaper clippings on 1974 elections
6 Newspaper clippings and correspondence on school integration, 1957-1958
7 Newspaper clippings on civil rights, NAACP, labor, churches
8 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings

Christia Adair

Box Folder
4 1 Biographical materials
2 Transcript of 1977 oral history interview

Organizations and Associations

Box Folder
4 3 Houston City Association Women's Clubs, 1965-1968
4 Houston City Association Women's Clubs, 1959-1961
5 Samuel Huston College Bulletin, 1901-1902
6 Houston Forward Times article, "Mrs. Adair Unveils Plans for Alzheimer's Disease", June 8, 1985
7 Clippings, correspondence on the NAACP
8 Info. on the Married Ladies' Club


Box Folder
4 9 Correspondence
Box Folder
5 1 Scrapbook; brochures of 1985 "Women of Courage" photo exhibit
Box Folder
6 1 Photographs
Box Folder
7 1 Miscellaneous diplomas and certificates