The Ottis Lock Endowment Committee presents the award to works that demonstrate excellence in charting the history and culture of East Texas in honor of Ottis Lock, who served as a prominent educator, public official, and business leader in the region for much of the twentieth century.
Chronicling the personal and cultural forces that prompted nearly 50,000 blacks to move from small, rural Texas and Louisiana communities to Jim Crow Houston in the first half of the twentieth century, Bernadette Pruitt presents a riveting account of migration as an act of defiance against oppression in her book The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African American to Houston, 1900-1941 (2013). Focusing on the often neglected subject of black migration within the South, Pruitt draws from a variety of primary artifacts to narrate the ways in which the black working class and the metropolitan city mutually transformed one another.
Written by Lawrence T. Jones III, Lens on the Texas Frontier (2014) photographically traces the lives of historical leaders and common folk alike across the state as well as the evolution of photography itself in the near century between 1846 and 1945. Featuring the most memorable items of his collection housed in Southern Methodist University, Jones allows all his readers to relive the moments that make up the fascinating history of Texas.
TAMU Press works have been honored with the Ottis Lock Award multiple times since 1988.
-L. G. Miranda