By: Paul J. Matthews as told to Sharon C. Jenkins

As an African American leader in Houston, my journey has been shaped by several pivotal moments and experiences that have significantly influenced my work and contributions to the community. Among these, the establishment of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum stands out as a most cherished accomplishment. Th is museum not only demonstrates the ability of African Americans to create something inspiring but also highlights the incredible history and contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers, the black peacekeepers of the American West. These soldiers built camps, and railroads, delivered mail, maintained telegraph lines, and chased down outlaws, playing a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States.

One of the challenges I faced while pursuing my dreams was learning how to navigate the complexities of establishing and maintaining a museum. At the time, I was the Director of Military Sales for Merck, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, overseeing all military installations in the US and Europe. This role afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively, which in turn enriched my understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and histories.
Reflecting on the current challenges young African Americans face, such as the Florida governor’s efforts to remove black history from school curricula, I emphasize the importance of black history as American history.

It is crucial for
young people to understand where we came from and the struggles we endured. Th e story of the Buff alo Soldiers, who served not just for themselves but for future generations, inspired me deeply. I first learned about them as an ROTC cadet at Prairie View A&M University in the 1960s, reading just two paragraphs in a military book. Th is small glimpse sparked my lifelong fascination with these brave men and their blue uniforms.
Growing up in a segregated America in the 1940s, I attended historically black institutions, which shaped my worldview and instilled a strong sense of resilience and determination. My experiences in the military and subsequent exposure to the rich history of African Americans further fueled my desire to contribute meaningfully to my community. Houston is known for its rich cultural diversity, and I have strived to enhance this diversity through both my personal and professional goals. A particularly memorable moment at the museum was when a group from
Paris, France, visited specifically to see the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. Considering Houston’s numerous cultural attractions, their visit underscored the museum’s international significance and the universal appeal of the Buffalo Soldiers’ story.

Another profound moment occurred at the Houston rodeo during Black History Day. Our display featured reenactments and a young boy was so moved by the experience that he hugged the reenactor and tearfully declared, “I’m a Buffalo Soldier.” Th is powerful moment reaffirmed the importance of our work and its impact on the younger generation.
Throughout my career, I have always been inspired by the tenacity and determination of the Buffalo Soldiers. Their motto, “Ready and Forward,” and the 9th Cavalry’s “We Can, We Will,” resonate deeply with me and have been guiding principles in my life. These mottos instill enthusiasm and perseverance, traits that I strive to embody and pass on to others.
One of the most significant contributions I have made to the greater Houston community is the establishment of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. Th e museum serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, showcasing the achievements of black soldiers and their role in shaping American history.

ROTC programs, students, and visitors from around the world come to the museum and leave with a newfound appreciation for these unsung heroes. As a living legend and role model, I hope to leave a legacy that encourages future generations of African American leaders to follow their dreams,

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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