A little over a year ago, Dr. Thomas F. Freeman passed after teaching at Texas Southern University for over 70 years. He was only two weeks away from his hundred and first birthday. Freeman, the debate coach at Texas Southern University, mentored and taught a number of well known political and social justice figures to include Martin Luther King, Jr., Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, Congressman Mickey Leland, and Texas Representative Senfronia Thompson. Watching the funeral services for Dr. Freeman was both informative and inspiring as several people approached the lectern and quietly praised his contributions to humanity while others fostered suggestions that his name should be etched in granite or a statue built to celebrate him.
Only a week would pass, and this writer submitted a narrative to the Harris County Historical Commission for a historical marker for Dr. Freeman. That narrative was approved at the county level and was submitted to the Texas Historical Commission. Texas approved the marker narrative and it will be engraved within the year and erected on the campus of Texas Southern University. What more could be done to commemorate this human being who, like Sisyphus rolled a boulder up the mountain? Unlike Sisyphus, whose boulder rolled back down the mountain repeatedly, students, who Dr. Freeman mentored, have put a shoulder to Freeman’s philanthropic boulder and continued pushing it to the top.
Why not name a street for Dr. Freeman? A street named after Freeman, not a statue, would surely commemorate the work and life-long contributions of a man who contributed so much to the causes of humanity. Where would the street be located or what street would be renamed? The street to rename has been right there the whole time when the thought initially came to mind. Cleburne Street, the main address of Texas Southern University, a Historically Black College and University who has been training, teaching, mentoring and pushing African American students up that same mountain as Freeman, should be renamed.
Cleburne Street is named for Major General Patrick Cleburne. Patrick Cleburne was a Confederate Soldier, who fought to continue, “the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States.” The quote is taken directly from the Confederate States Constitution of 1861. Cleburne Street should be changed to a street name that more appropriately reflects the pride, struggles, and contributions of all Americans. Dr. Thomas F. Freeman is a symbol of that pride, struggle, and contribution—he pushed the boulder of progress up the mountain and those he mentored have rushed behind him to continue the efforts of making America the greatest nation for all Americans.
This writer has moved forward with a campaign to change the name of Cleburne Street to Dr. Thomas F. Freeman Ave. Letters have been sent to the residents/owners of property on Cleburne for signature, which is required by the City of Houston. Of those residents, 75% must sign and agree to the name change. You can help. Call a friend who is a resident/owner of property on Cleburne and encourage them to sign and send back the letters. This is an “each one must reach one” effort to move the racist nod of Cleburne Street toward a more appropriate scream for America to be what its Declaration suggests—that all men are created equal. James H. Ford Jr.
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.