HOUSTON — It was a special moment for many African Americans in Houston six years ago when the Martin Luther King Jr. statue was unveiled at MacGregor Park, with more than 3,000 people turning out to witness the event.
The Black Heritage Society’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ovide Duncantell’s mission of recognizing, sustaining and keeping Dr. King’s “Legacy” and “Dream” alive forever blossomed into fruition.
Since that historic day, the fourth largest city in the U.S. has only three MLK statues.
Even then, those who were a part of the process of getting the MLK statues commissioned had to fight through adversity to make it a reality.
The first statue resides in Sunnyside and was acquired in 1981; it is unknown who commissioned the bronze bust.
Humanitarian and former Houston city council member, Ada Edwards, raised $40,000 to have the second MLK statue commissioned in Hermann Park. It was unveiled in 2007.
“It struck me the wrong way that [those in jurisdiction over Hermann Park at the time] didn’t want a statue of Dr. King. I continued to fight to make sure that there was a notable black figure in Houston,” Edwards said.
Dr. Ben Hall, 2013 Mayoral candidate, attorney and advisory board member of the Martin Luther King Memorial Project-Houston, and his wife, Saundra Hall, paid for the MLK statue to be placed in MacGregor Park.
“Mr. Duncantell insisted—no, DEMANDED—that the statue be as authentic to Dr. King’s image and likeness as possible, Hall said. “We were honored to donate the $64,000 needed to ensure Dr. King’s statue would reflect the vision Mr. Duncantell had for the statue—and we think we did just that.”
Over the last few years, many have been on a joint mission to remove the bones of racist skeletons from the Lone Star State’s closet…slowly.
In 2016, the Houston Independent School District spent $1.2 million to rename schools that bore the names of Confederate leaders, and replaced them with those of local leaders.
Even though there have been many people over the years who’ve sought to eradicate any trace of the Confederacy in Houston – whether it was a statue, street name or public space – the issue of the lack of African American statues in Houston remains.
We’ve heard the statement, “We’ve come very far from where we’ve been,” but the credibility of this statement stands on shaky foundations.
Progress is being made, but the speed of the progression raises an eyebrow to some with only three monuments of our people being honored, compared to the numerous Confederate public spaces, street names and monuments in the city.
If we have come a long way from where we were before in the past; then, it is imperative to see additional monuments honoring our African American figures in the Space City for our youth to learn about the significance of African American pioneers and the roads they paved for us to walk on.
“A statute concretizes and brings more value to the spirit of our leaders what they’ve done for us,” Edwards said.
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.