Almetris Duren surrounded by readers of the Overcoming audiobook

Listen to the Audiobook of Overcoming

A History of Black Integration at the University of Texas at Austin

Overcoming (audiobook cover featuring Almetris Duren and the readers)Download the Overcoming Audiobook

The audiobook is free and available to the public. (Rt-click on the button above to save the linked MP3 to your computer.)

Donations to the Almetris Marsh Duren Memorial Challenge Grant Scholarship are strongly encouraged.

Contribute to the Duren Scholarship Fund


Almetris Marsh Duren, featured in the audiobook of OvercomingLearn about UT’s story of integration as written by Almetris Marsh Duren and read by members of the Precursors, staff and alumni. Opening with the watershed Supreme Court case Sweatt vs. Painter, the five chapters cover various challenges and triumphs faced by African Americans including segregated housing and extracurricular activities, the emergence of Black power and the historical figures who supported Black students during its early years of integration.

The book is produced by DCCE Communications in collaboration with filmmaker Vidal Marsh, nephew of Ms. Duren (affectionately known as “Mama Duren”), an iconic figure in UT history who made a profound impact on her students during her time as housemother, mentor and advisor. Learn more about Marsh’s forthcoming film “Still Overcoming.”


Brenda Burt, audiobook narratorBrenda Burt served as the director of undergraduate and alumni relations for the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of African and African Diaspora Studies for 34 years. In this role, she supported her students and coordinated a variety of events promoting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. She is a longtime community leader in the City of Austin and a dedicated co-leader of the annual MLK Day March & Rally.

Precursors Peggy and Leon Holland, audiobook narratorsPeggy Drake Holland was the first Black student to attend the business school, earning her B.B.A in 1963. Col. Leon Holland Holland graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in natural sciences and a teaching certificate. He was the first African American to receive an ROTC commission from UT Austin. Both are members of the Precursors, a group composed of the first generation of African Americans to attend UT Austin.

Richard Reddick, audiobook narrator

Dr. Richard J. Reddick is the inaugural senior vice provost for curriculum and enrollment and the dean of undergraduate studies at UT Austin. Previously he served as inaugural associate dean for equity, community engagement and outreach for the College of Education and as professor in the Program in Higher Education Leadership. A proud Longhorn, Reddick earned his B.A. in Plan II Honors in 1995. Read more about his reflections of college life back in the 1990s.

Stephanie Lang, audiobook narrator

Stephanie Lang, whose family has lived in Austin and the surrounding area for multiple generations, is a writer, community curator and passionate advocate for social justice. She serves as the director of community-facing programming at the DCCE’s Center for Community Engagement. She is a founding member of the Travis County African American Heritage Council, a member of The Travis County Historical Commission and a board member for TORCH Literary Arts. Read about her history preservation efforts in East Austin neighborhoods.

Christina Bryant, audiobook narrator

Christina Bryant is the senior program coordinator at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, where she spearheads and manages many events and projects. In 2022, she was nominated for the Rising Star of the Year award by the DivInc Champions of Change, and she was named a finalist for the Austin Under 40 award in the Youth and Education category.

Jada Davis, audiobook narrator

Jada Davis earned her iMPA degree in professional accounting from the McCombs School of Business in 2022. During her time at UT Austin, she served as member of the Black Business Student Association and of the Master in Professional Accounting Council. She also served as camp counselor at the McCombs DYNAMC program, where she pursued her passion for helping her peers along their academic journey.