By Zibora Gilder

Memories of loud Saturday mornings with Johnny Guitar Watson playing in the background, the smell of thick-cut bacon with the rind on, butter melting on the shiny glaze of sugar on grits, soft scrambled eggs seasoned with salt and pepper, and oven-toasted toast with three perfect indentations of melted butter. That was a typical Saturday morning in Mary Zina’s house—a
southern grandmother from the piney woods of East Texas who passed down cherished southern values, impeccable cleaning habits, crisp ironed clothes, and Christian beliefs. The desire to have a good life in the city while passing down values of family, community, and collaboration coexisted.

After the deaths of the most important individuals in a family—the matriarch and patriarch—the question arises: what was all the work and sacrifice for? Was it to let years of ownership go to the highest bidder? To let strangers live in spaces where they have no investment? Was it to let families fight over money that will be gone within two weeks of inheritance? Where does the entitlement come from? Where do all the elaborate plans for property come from when no effort was made to earn it? With the elder statesmen dying at such a rapid rate, feelings of selfishness arise. There is a longing to have recorded every moment, to remember every conversation, and to know more about family history. Their hard work continues to pay off in the lives of their descendants, but how it would be wonderful for them to see it.

In the historic Fifth Ward community, rich history stands resilient against the attempt to rename it as EaDo (cue eye roll). A year of trajectory shifts turned a short flight for a weekend of fun
and educational experience into a life-changing event. From visiting D.C. for the Black Deaf Symposium to having one day to complete an application and getting accepted with a full scholarship into Howard University. Howard University challenged students to the core. Daily reminders of southern roots confronted assumptions of being ghetto, talking slow, and having undereducated opinions. Attending Howard’s Chapel sparked a true mental shift , compelling students to question their entire Southern Christian faith. What was thought to be liberal thinking
leaned more towards southern conservative beliefs. Life, education, and values had been shaped by a very white supremacist, exclusionary lens.

The remnants of slavery and Jim Crow intertwined into every aspect of life. Food deserts had become normalized. In Fifth Ward and Homestead, the only grocery options were Fiesta on Lyons and Lockwood. The “why” behind this was never questioned. The neighborhood store Allie’s across from Collingsworth Apartments was overpriced and lacked healthy food options.

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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

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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