By Rebecca S. Jones

HOUSTON – August 20, 1619 marks a day in American history where Our Ancestors (over 20 Africans) arrived on the shores of Virginia near a place called Port Comfort (present-day Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia). The irony, however, is that this group of Africans, who were brutally and forcefully stolen from their homeland, would experience everything but Comfort in the centuries to follow.

As it was the African slaves who were brought to this country were made to build a land which would never rightfully become their own. They were subjected to numerous forms of punishment including: being whipped; shackled and bound; unmercifully beat on; underwent mutilation of their bodies; some were branded to show ownership, or simply to be made out of a mockery; many faced wrongful imprisonment; and of course lynching and being murdered was the final phase of punishment.

In many cases these forms of punishment were the result of some type of disobedience; but there were also times that slaves were mistreated due to the assertion of dominance from their Masters’. During this era, slaves of both genders were raped, along with many other violent and torturous acts.

Our ancestors, as disempowered and uneducated as they were, became indentured servants who proved to be the greatest asset to the land of America. According to, James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom, “In [1860], the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined.” In fact, if American history was accurately told, it is the slaves who worked to make America one of the most powerful and richest countries in the world today.

While they were maligned and preyed upon in many instances, they still continued to work towards the advancement of an America which considered them three-fifths a person. Although enslaved by law, it was Our Ancestors’ faith and minds which made them free. Many of them understood that, “a person is only captive in their mind.” Despite the fact that the Democracy they lived in, was founded on core ideals which were a lie; it was their volition, self-sacrifice and struggle which later made it reign true.

Made in America

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

As our readers well know, African-American News & Issues exists to address current and historical realities affecting our communities. Further, it has been our mission to tell Our Story to Our People in a language in which they can understand. In doing so, we celebrate Black History (Our Story) year-round. This is why we continuously aim to promote positive and influential leaders from within our communities on a weekly basis. America and mainstream media have done a good enough job casting a negative light on African-Americans. Thus, we wish to “plead our own cause,” because for too long others have told Our Story from their perspectives’.

That being stated, in doing Life Stories on some of the most influential Blacks our race has produced, I have found a single commonality. Majority of our featured individuals have attributed their success to a figure within the household who encouraged them to, “Be better than me”. That principle is one which has withstood the test of time. Since, 1619 each generation has been encouraging the next to “take the torch further”.

So here in 2019, if we were to clearly look at the big picture throughout these last four centuries in terms of Black History we would find; out of slavery and oppression came forth power and resilience. Had it not been for the struggle Our Ancestors endured, we would have no knowledge of people like: Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Barbara Jordan, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harriet Tubman, Cicely Tyson, Sojourner Truth, Roy Douglas Malonson, Pastor F.N. Williams, Ovide Duncantell, Alfre Woodard, Madam C. J. Walker, President Barack & First Lady Michelle Obama; and sure the list is endless when spelling out African-American men and women who made great strides and contributions to American culture to ensure that each generation double-mirrored their successes.

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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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