HOUSTON – Years before 1983, when President Ronald Reagan first signed into law, the third Monday of January in each year would be observed and declared as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; one powerful leader saw fit to honor the man that went down in history as the chief spokesman for the Civil Right movement. Though this declaration was made in 1983, it was not observed until 1986. Even more so, it was not observed in all of the states of the United States until the year 2000. Nevertheless, Rev. Floyd Nathaniel Williams made a conscientious decision after going to Washington D.C. that whether Dr. King was given a day or not, he would do something to show people that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was more than just a voice to be heard. He was a man that left a legacy that generations and generations to come would always hear about.

Rev. Floyd Nathaniel Williams, known by many as “F.N. Williams” comes from a family of spiritual and community involvement and advocacy leaders. His father is the late Pastor M.C.Williams who left quite a legacy in Houston and the Acres Home community. So it is no wonder that his son, would also make remarkable footprints consistent with that of a mighty soldier. Williams after the passing of his father, succeeded as pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, where he still serves today. Having fought for many privileges for residents within his community throughout the years; he built a reputation of being a mighty strong arm to confront and a force to be reckoned with. As such he initiated the very first Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration in 1971 at the Antioch MBC. He opted to host such an event because he came to the conclusion that he, “didn’t need the government to mandate an appointed time to celebrate his history and culture.”

During the first year of Pastor Williams hosting the event he was not welcomed by the large gallery of ministers and pastors that one would expect. As a matter of fact, some of the ministers during that era spoke ill-will of his intentions and desire to recognize Dr. King’s legacy. However diligent and supportive ministers and pastors such as: Pastor William “Bill” Lawson, Pastor Deleon Everett, Dr. A.W. Bill, Pastor A.A. McCardell, Pastor B.J. Lewis, Pastor S.B. Parker, Pastor Andy Young and Pastor J.T. Holcombe, did not leave Williams standing on the battlefield alone. Instead, they joined forces and assisted him with promoting and helping to ensure that the celebration was a success. His desire to sponsor this memorable tribute did not sit well with everyone. As a matter of fact, the KKK taunted the efforts of the event. But that did not serve as a stumbling block for Pastor Williams.

As it is, Pastor Williams did not waiver in his belief and support for the vision of Dr. King. His faithfulness to the Civil Rights Movement did not just start after the assassination of Dr. King. He was a fervent supporter of the marches that he led while Dr. King was living. In fact, he was amongst one of the key players that was very instrumental in bringing Dr. King to Houston. Upon which he received a great deal of opposition from local religious officials regarding his decision to do so. Pastor Williams also sat only three seats away from Dr. King as he delivered his infamous last speech, I have been to the Mountaintop.

Since the inception of the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration, Pastor Williams has remained dedicated to hosting this event yearly. He has held 43 consecutive celebrations in Dr. King’s honor. During an interview Pastor Williams gave his thoughts on the consistent need to have celebrations such as these.

Pastor F.N. Williams on 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration:

This year’s caption for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration is, “It’s Still Alive”. It was labeled this because Dr. King’s dream has not been fulfilled, which is evident by the fact that there is still a need for justice. We are living in a society whereas, young Black men are singled out and dying monthly by the hands of law enforcement authorities without ever going to trial. They are being set free by grand juries that aren’t friendly towards us. People that are under the mainstream of common living, never realize what happens with the people under duress and stress.

Why are these kids acting like this? Nobody addresses the problem. I think that it’s so warped that every time something happens they say “Education”. Education is not the answer. Economics, jobs, businesses in our minority communities, teaching them self-respect – where the system has methodically set the disruption of the family by sending most of the young Black men that are available for parenting behind bars. When a little less than an ounce of cocaine can give a man 20 – 25 years; when all he had was a little package, less than the size of a packaged sugar – something is wrong. He’s lost his job, identity and never gets the chance to be apart of mainstream society. So Dr. King’s dream, is still a dream and it has not even dented fulfillment because just look around. How many businesses thrive in Black communities? Now, I certainly do not want to seem racist or like a bigot. But how is that other minorities can come in this country and be supported by the government and Black people who built this country has to struggle for mere survival and plead for a degree of justice? Something is wrong! So what we need is an overhauling of the system and the judicial system certainly needs overhauling. When you study history, notice the founding fathers never intended for the children of slaves to evolve to a degree of equality.

We cannot in our own community add a room to our house without blueprints and permits. But foreigners, on the other hand can come in and build anything that they want to build. If one Black family stay just one too many in a house they want to charge them, but they come in and live four and five families and nothing is ever said or done. So we are hoping that the consciousnesses of our legislators and congress people are touched by the reality of what’s happening today to change our judicial system and not allow grand juries to be picked as they are now. The system needs changing. We feel that there need to be on the part of our representatives and legislators, to look into the freedom that policemen have. They need to redesign and redefine their authority. Cameras are good, but cameras will not keep that kind of race baiting and things from happening the way that it has.

The prison system is really the rich man’s farm for detention and how he can handle the workforce and welfare. Most of the people that’s there in charge of the prison system are not Thomas Jones and Fred Thomas who comes from our community, it’s Africans and people from the islands who do not necessarily like American Blacks. So instead of prison being a place of reform, it’s being a place that raises the level of hatred and disrespect for government and destruction of the family. So instead of recycling the fathers they are now recycling families. So that’s why we keep on having this day for Dr. King hoping that his legacy will not die with us. So we appreciate the fact that State Representative Sylvester Turner and Rev. H. Stanley and the Houston Baptist Pastors Ministers Fellowship have joined with us in this effort and we are expecting great things.

On January 19, Pastor F.N. Williams, Sr. and the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, the Houston Baptist Pastors and Ministers Fellowship (Rev. H. Stanley, President) and State Representative Sylvester Turner will be hosting the 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at Antioch MBC located at 5902 Beall at Mansfield St., 77091. The theme will be, “It’s Still Alive”. The Youth Program Spotlight will begin at 10:30am and the Mass Meeting will be 6:00pm, Mr. Roy Douglas Malonson will be the Guest Speaker of the evening and special musical performances will be rendered by “For the Lord”.

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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