For more than the last four decades, Houstonians proudly line the streets for the annual Black Heritage Society’s MLK Parade, but do you know who is responsible for its creation? Civil Rights ‘warrior’ Ovide Duncantell.
As noted on the Black Heritage Society’s website, Duncantell was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on August 7, 1936. After graduating from school in 1955, he entered the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1959. After returning home, he got married and set out for Los Angeles, California. But after making a stop in Houston to visit with his new wife’s brothers, his plans changed, and he remained in Houston until his death.
In 1969, Duncantell began working for the Anti-Poverty Program-Houston Community ActionAssociation. There, he organized youth adults and senior citizens to ban together and improve their communities from 1970-1973. He later created his own organization entitled “The Central Committee for the Protection of Poor People.” The organization’s mission and goals were to assist the community in obtaining much needed social services.
Duncantell eventually went to work for then newly-elected Commissioner, Tom Bass, from 1973-1977, where he assisted in the appointment of several new key county office positions, including placement of the first black Harris County Constable, A. B. Chambers, along with several Justices of the Peace.
He also earned his Bachelor and Masters degrees from Texas Southern University.
In 1974, Duncantell became Founder and Executive Director of the Black Heritage Society Inc., emerging as one of the driving forces behind the renaming of South Park Boulevard becoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
The Reverend Martin Luther (“Daddy ”) King, Sr., was so impressed by the gesture of respect, he made a personal appearance at the street’s name change ceremony, and served as the BHS first MLK Parade “Grand Marshal,” on January 21, 1978. Making a pact and promise to Dr. King’s father, the BHS has since conducted the annual MLK Parade in Houston ever since.
The civil rights leader was 75 years old when he chained himself the “MLK Tree of Life,” which the BHS planted in 1983, to stand in the way of the construction of Metro’s new Southeast light rail line.
“I’m 75 years old but I’m still a warrior,” he told one reporter.
Indeed he was. He died in October 2018 at the age of 82.
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.