East Texas, like Central Texas, busts the western movie stereotype of Texas being all plains and prairie. The geographiy is composed mainly of the Piney Woods a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer flora. The Piney Woods thins out as you approach the Gulf of Mexico. The Sabine River and Trinity River are the major rivers in East Texas but the Brazos River cuts through the southwest portion of the region and the Red River forms it's northern border with Oklahoma. Only the Red River is still navigable and only becomes navigable south of Shreveport, Louisiana. In East Texas and the rest of the US South, small rivers and creeks collect in swamps called "Bayous" and merge with the surrounding forest. Bald cypress and Spanish moss, the official state moss of Texas, are the dominate plants in Bayous. The most famous of these bayous are the Cypress Bayou that surround the Big, Little, and Black Cypress rivers around Jefferson and extend around the rim of Caddo Lake that the rivers flow into.
Culturaly East Texas is more closely akin to Arkansas, Louisiana, and even Mississippi than it is with West Texas. East Texas is in the Bible Belt creating a stong Fundamentalist Christian sentiment. Sizable Jewish communities have also thrived in Houston, Galveston and Marshall since the late 19th century. Though a fourth of Texas' population is now Hispanic, African-Americans still are the dominate minority, with the exception of Houston. During the Civil Rights Movement several communities clashed over integration.