Author. Professor. Historian.

Tyina L. Steptoe, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of History at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She researches, writes, and teaches courses on race, gender, culture, and society. Her first book, Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City, (University of California Press, 2015), examines how the migration of Black East Texans, Creoles of color, and ethnic Mexicans complicated notions of race in Houston between the 1920s and 1960s.

Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City

Houston Bound is an important and pathbreaking example of the new Southern Studies. Steptoe reveals how cultural interactions between Texas blacks, Louisiana Creoles, and Mexican and Tejano migrants to Houston in the twentieth century produced fluid and changing understandings of racial identity even as whites passed Jim Crow laws to try to fix a black-white racial binary.”—Grace Elizabeth Hale, Commonwealth Chair of American Studies and Professor of History, University of Virginia

“Steptoe probes deeply and insightfully into the cultural and racial dynamics of Creoles of color, black Texans, and ethnic Mexicans where these communities transformed conventional understandings of racial space and place in the Jim Crow South, often despite differences in language, religion, racial identity, and especially musical expression—from jazz, blues, and ‘la-la’ to Tejano soul, orquesta, zydeco, and the cross-racial music of Beyoncé and Chingo Bling. Houston Bound is a historical tour de force that reveals the Bayou City and its intricately entwined cultures as a close cousin of New Orleans.”—Neil Foley, author of Mexicans in the Making of America