About the Mickey Leland Archives

The Mickey Leland Center for Environment Justice and Sustainability at Texas Southern University administers the unpublished papers, artifacts, and audio visual materials dealing with the work of the late U.S. Congressman George Thomas “Mickey” Leland III. Alison (Leland) Brisco, the widow of the late Congressman, donated his congressional papers to Texas Southern University in 1989. The Mickey Leland Archives and Library is a part of the Archives Collection of the 18th Congressional District of Houston, Texas, located at Texas Southern University. Mickey Leland papers documents his public service career from 1970 to 1989 and provide a political perspective on the history and culture of Houston, its 88th State District, and the 18th U.S. Congressional District during those years.

The collection features papers and records of local political and civic leaders; labor, professional and ethnic organizations; artists, authors and activist groups. It reveals that Leland successfully represented the interests of Houston’s liberals and conservatives, African Americans, Hispanics and whites, rich and poor, in order to become one of the most durable and successful advocates for hunger relief and the interests of the homeless in the history of American politics.

The Leland Papers span turbulent years – from Nixon, Vietnam, and Watergate; through Reagan and Reagonomics; to Bush and the Recession. They reveal the evolution of Leland’s political philosophy and career, from his youthful black-militant protests, when he arrived in Austin as a freshman legislator dressed in an African Dashiki, to his arrival on the Washington scene sporting a Giorgio Armani suit. The collection reveals his uncanny ability to use whatever tools were available to “make a difference” and “get” beyond words” to solve the problems of hunger and suffering.

The Leland Papers cover a variety of topics: health care rights for the poor, prison reform, police harassment and brutality, racial discrimination, affirmative action, budget discrimination in higher education, labor legislation, political election organization, infant mortality, minority rights in business, health education, parks and recreation for the indigent, apartheid and racial discrimination issues worldwide, third world development, emergency shelters for the homeless, nutrients for the malnourished, and food security for victims of hunger.

For Leland’s constituents, the papers document especially well his involvement in issues and projects of particular concern to the people he represented. The diverse conditions existing in the 18th Congressional District required of Leland extraordinary flexibility. He managed issues ranging=ng from mass transportation, urban planning and neighborhood protection to energy legislation and domestic oil production.

The collection verifies Leland’s role as a champion of minority issues and a promoter of the economic development of his state. He focused on trade issue for state products with the Pacific Rim countries, and developed special projects such as Houston’s Economic Conference.

The Leland Papers are a significant addition to the political papers entrusted to Texas Southern University. Congressional papers at the University also include those of the former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who preceded Mickey Leland in representing the 18th Congressional District in Congress. The Leland Papers expand the University’s acquisition, access, and preservation program and constitute a major collection in the Southwest. The complete finding aid with details of series and physical locations of videos, photos, and documents are described in the document the The Mickey Leland Papers & Collection.

The Mickey Leland Center Archives is pleased to assist and aid all public and private research requests. Please contact the archives staff via email : ARCHIVESMLC@TSU.EDU OR 713‐313‐7370 Archives Location: Access to the Mickey Leland Archives (http://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/mla/) Texas Southern University [School of Public Affairs Suite 105 (Corner of Cleburne and Tierwester)] 3100 Cleburne St. Houston, Texas 77004

The Reading Room is open Monday - Friday 9 am to 5:00 and by appointment.

"This project, including the finding aid and all the supporting archival collections Series 1 through Series 15, was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services."[IMLS Grant Number #723-14009]

BACK