By Rebecca S. Jones
HOUSTON – Claude Cummings, Jr. was born and raised in Houston’s Kashmere Gardens. Since as early as he can remember, he has leant his voice to the community, Corporate America and the political world. For decades he has served as a conscious servant, who rightfully detests the ills, discriminations and prejudices prevalent within the workforce by serving as a union leader. He has also made a name for himself in the gospel industry through his nationally recognized quartet group, Endurance.
Recently, Cummings was re-elected to lead the Communication Workers of America (CWA) in District 6 as Vice President, at the CWA Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In past, Cummings has served as an At-Large member of the Executive Board of CWA since 2007, was elected Vice President of District 6 in July 2011 and re-elected in July 2015 representing workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Furthermore, he has been appointed to lead the Human Rights department for the National CWA. In addition, Vice President Cummings has been elected as 2nd Vice President of the Houston NAACP, while also serving as an At-Large member of the CBTU and APRI Executive Boards.
Prior to his election to District 6 Vice President Cummings was President of CWA Local 6222 representing more than 4,000 members. He was first elected President of the Local in 1999; previously serving as Vice President and held other leadership positions in the local.
Cummings first joined Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) on August 20, 1973 located at 1401 Jefferson Street, Houston. During his initial employment with AT&T, he worked as a Frame Attendant and Communications Technician, maintaining systems for NASA, among other corporate customers. His initiation into leadership in the local union began as a result of him protesting racial injustices and discriminations against minorities and women working in Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.
A constant leading voice in local and state politics, Vice President Cummings worked for passage of a state law to enable AT&T to provide video services to its customers. It was a task that could only be done through legislation. Cummings took on the challenge and went to Austin and lobbied with then-State Representative Sylvester Turner, then-Senator Rodney Ellis and other African-American legislators. Collectively they were able to get the bill passed.
Over the years, Vice President Cummings has held numerous leadership positions in other local and national organizations. He has also served as a delegate to past Democratic National Conventions. He is a longtime community activist, supporting and directing civil rights efforts in the region, United Way contribution drives, community religious events and other community and civic campaigns.
Vice President Cummings is an active and instrumental part of his son’s church, He Heard My Cry Fellowship in Houston. He has also served in various leadership positions at the Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church as Chairman of the Deacon Board; President of the Choir and Youth departments; leading Sunday School, Brotherhood and the Male Chorus. All of which have played a vital role in contributing to enhance the leadership qualities and capabilities he utilizes in his professional career.
He is the proud father of one son, Pastor Claude, III; two daughters, Kenyetta and Katrina; and eight other grandchildren, Laura, Ale`ycia, Yuri, Deiondre, Brianna, Jillian, Claire and Laila. He attributes his success to God and his wife Ruth, who he met during his college years at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, over 47 years ago.
Having served as union leader and District Vice President, Cummings says, “The joy of my job is being able to help people – especially young Black people. I get asked all the time, when am I going to retire and I tell them, ‘I’m going to retire when I get to the point where I feel like I don’t want to help people anymore.’ Further, he believes “Unions are the last line of defense for the middle-class… When one percent of the people in a country own the wealth, at what point will the 99 percent wake up and say, ‘enough is enough.’”
Photo credit: Beth Allen
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.