Texas Tech Celebrates Black History Month
February 11, 2013
R. J. Givens, Jr. & Octavia Middleton-Givens
R. J. Givens, Jr., attended Lubbock Public Schools, graduating from Dunbar High School and graduating from Hutson-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and President of his class. He is a 33 Degree Mason of the Rio Grande Consistory Number 24.
R. J. has owned and operated Givens Agency for over 40 years. He became the first Black to join the Lubbock Board of Realtors and is a member of Multiple Listing Service. Over the years, many individuals have worked as agents for Givens Agency, with many others employed in clerical positions, including college students. Givens Agency was the stepping stone for his son Ron to become the first Black Republican in over 102 years to serve as State Representative in the Texas Legislature.
R.J. retired from the Lubbock Postal Office with 32 years of service. He was the first Black to sit on the Lubbock Avalanche Journal Editorial Board, was an Equal Opportunity Counselor for the Lubbock Region Postal Workers, and served as President of the Postal Workers Union. R. J. has served on various community and city committees and is a deacon at New Hope Baptist Church.
R. J. married his childhood sweetheart, Octavia Middleton. They have two children, Ron and Cheryl who have blessed them with several grand and great-grand children.
Octavia Middleton-Givens is a graduate of Lubbock Dunbar High School and of Peoples Business College in Austin, Texas. She became the first Black cashier for Starks Brothers Grocery in Austin, which opened the door for other to follow. Upon her return to Lubbock, she worked as the secretary at Wheatley Elementary School.
In 1965, she became the first Black to serve as a cashier for Southwestern Public Service (now Excel Energy). In 1970 she became the first Black female Realtor with the Lubbock Association of Realtors which provides access to the West Lubbock Real Estate Market. In 1974, she opened Givens Employment Agency, a State License Private Employment Agency that allowed her to place individuals with State Government, Southwestern Bell, IBM and several other businesses. She was associated with both the National and Local Private Employment Agency.
Octavia assisted in the formation of the Lubbock Black Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The Chamber was Organized to aid and assist minority businesses to be competitive in the modern market place. She is a member of New Hope Baptist Church, is involved with the Board of Deaconess, Usher and multiple church committees, and is a member of the State and National Lubbock Association of Realtors.
Octavia is the daughter of John and Lucille Middleton. She married her childhood sweetheart, R.J. Givens, Jr. and is the mother to Ron Givens and Cheryl Givens Wiley. She has several grand and great-grand children.