We Have Hope!


By: Billy “Hollywood” Groves

O ur American voters are like a sports team on a winning streak, the momentum that is created by success has given them new confidence and hope. These American voters are speaking with strength and togetherness on the essential important issues that we are dealing with at this time.

Key issues such as: rebuilding all of our American communities so that everyone in America can enjoy a decent life; changing our American gun-control laws which have been shown to be out of control and deadly; regaining respect for immigrants; re-establishing our positive relations with our world neighbors and allies and even about changing the way our American judicial system is operating within the boundaries of disproportionate numbers of Black, Brown and poor White people incarcerated.

Winning in the past 2018 elections will allow us to actually get truer “Real News” to the American public, as opposed to the “Fake News” that has been flowing out of the White House which has been guilty of portraying untrue statements made by Trump as being factual and the “Truth”.

We have hope and are operating in this hope by adding new and stronger political people to our already strong dedicated elected group of true leaders.  Our American Democracy is designed to give the “Power to the People”, not give the power of the people to one person. I am feeling good right now because Americans have “Waken Up” and are using their vote to flip the script.  We Have Hope!

East Texas Highlights

I really have to commend and thank all the people who are helping our young people. In East Texas we have a lot of committed adults who are especially working hard with our young athletes. One shining example is the Heart of Texas Youth Football League which held their annual Super Bowl Championship games in Madisonville recently.

Crockett Teams, the 5 to 7-year-old group, the 9 to 10-year-old group and the 10 to 12-year-old group all made history by qualifying for the playoffs. There had never been three teams from one town all qualifying for the playoffs in the history of this league and even more remarkable they all won Super Bowl Championships. Each team member, their coaches and other supporting staff members received Super Bowl championship rings.  

“Joe Guns” Senegal and Austin “Bruiser” Montgomery, who are coaches and fathers of some of the youth football players, gave me this information about the Super Bowl Games. Senegal said this is the first time in the history of the league which was started in 1990 that one town has won all three levels.

The coaches from Crockett, for the youth football players are: Bobby Cooper, Chris Bell, Jerry Holmes, Perry Cooper, Mark McCullough, J.D. Lockhart, Corey Simon, Stanley “Big Raunchy” Stewart, Eric McKnight, Joseph Porter, Austin “Bruiser” Montgomery, Artis “Jabo” Davis, Tyrone “Six” Colter and Joseph “Joe Guns” Senegal.

In the Houston County Youth Association of Crockett, which helps young people in other sports, including football and basketball, several of the members serve active dedicated roles in several sport programs. Jerry Holmes serves as President, Cole Robinson is the area representative, Austin “Bruiser” Montgomery, Joseph Porter, Lamont Reese and Perry Cooper are also members of the board.

I can’t speak highly of East Texas if I didn’t mention Dr. Ianthia Fisher of Crockett, who is a longtime educator, leader, Minister and Manager/ Editor of the Groves Standard newspaper of Crockett.  I have to tell the truth, I’m a “Freedom Writer”, not a “Freedom Typist”.

Dr. Ianthia Fisher is the one who has provided all of the typing of my articles to AAN&I over the years. She is also the Chief Operating Officer and founder of the Groves Educational Foundation Incorporated, a non-profit community organization location on MLK Jr. Blvd. in Crockett.

Congratulations go out to Dr. Thelma Douglass, a Crockett native who was recently named the President of the Mary Allen College Alumni Association in Crockett. Mary Allen College, which closed in the early 1970s, was one of the oldest colleges for African-Americans in America.  It was started in the 1800’s right after the Civil War.

We were saddened to hear of the death of Geneva Ford, who passed away recently. Geneva Ford was the wife of former, Houston County Judge (Crockett) Ervin Ford and was a lady who was a strong believer in God. Ervin and his wife, Geneva were true Christians who believed in helping people regardless of their color or status. She will be greatly missed by our community.

Hall of Famer Rodeo Cowboy, Myrtis Dightman of Houston, a Crockett native was recently featured on the cover of the Texas Monthly Magazine. Dightman was described as the, “Greatest” and the “Jackie Robinson” of Rodeo.  Myrtis started his career five decades ago and won rodeos all over America and Canada.  

Although he faced racial discrimination during his career, he never let it stop him from achieving his goals. These days Myrtis Dightman has an Annual Rodeo in Crockett, which features cowboys and cowgirls from everywhere.

East Texas has a strong group of citizens, Black, White and Brown who are coming together in all parts of East Texas and making it a great place to live.  Many of these citizens and business people are instrumental in sharing the our publication throughout the city and county by allowing the papers to be distributed from their business or just by assigning with the general distribution of the paper.   

The AAN&I may be found at the following locations in Houston County:  EZ Stop Store, Super Shop #2, Pic-N-Go Convenience Store, Husky Trading Post, Barkley Funeral Home, Dead End Barbershop, OK Stop Convenience, New Pleasant Grove MBC, Greater St. Paul MBC, St. Luke MBC, Friendship MBC, Progressive MBC, Bethel MBC, Crockett Public Library, Houston County District Attorney Office, Houston County Courthouse, Houston County Clerk Office, College Hill Convenience Store, Houston County Justices of Peace / Houston County Jail,  Lacy Hill Church of Christ, Houston County Attorney, Daphne Session, Phat Pat’s Barbershop, W.L. Tills Auto Repair Shop Prosperity Bank, HEB, Best Friends Community Services Grapeland, Pine Ridge Manor, Divine Construction and J.J.’s AC/ Heating.  

Special thanks go out to those Johnson Brothers owners of the Dead End Barbershops of Crockett and Huntsville, who recently enjoyed their vacation in Los Angeles of which I was extended an invitation to join them, although I wasn’t able to go this year, I will be looking forward to joining them next year. Brandon “Boo”, Elbert Wayne “Bev” and Untwaun Johnson along with James “Big Game” Henry, Thomas “Tree” Whitting and Huntsville rapper “B.P.” of the rap group “Youngest In Charge” reported that they all had a great time in California.

East Texas Shout Outs go to Dr. Ruth Houston, Crockett City Councilman Ernest Jackson, Darrell Jones and Councilwoman Marquitta Beasley, Dr. Delores “Chicken Bitty” Washington, the Simon Twins, Dr. Helen and Deacon George King, Victoria Essien, The Simon Family, James Smith, the Tyler and Palestine crews, Earl Joseph Sorrel, Dr. Brenda and Rev. Dr. Delvin Atchison, Ivan Sims, Jesselyn and Rev. Bill Reese, the Ard Family and all of our East Texas friends.

L-R  James Henry, (Johnson Brothers owners of the Dead End Barbershops) Brandon “Boo”, Elbert Wayne “Bev” and Untwaun Johnson and Thomas “Tree” Whitting.


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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 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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