By: Laisha Harris

With the full context and understanding that black people were still enslaved, the thirteen United States of America declared Independence from Great Britain in July of 1776. What distinguishes America from other forms of government is the doctrine of the separation of powers and the division of the three branches of government: executive, judicial, and legislative. The executive branch represents the power for President and his cabinet to enforce laws. The judicial branch represents the power of the elected judges that interpret the language of the law. The legislature, made up of two ‘branches,’ represent the needs/voice of a population to create law. With this doctrine came the question of who will be represented in the legislative branch, and how?

The Great Compromise of 1787 created the House of Representatives, membership based on the population of the State, and Senators, two for each State, elected by the people. This means the elected power in each State depends on the free population. The Three-Fifth’s Compromise of 1787 determined that in the southern slave states, the enslaved population would receive 3/5 of the representation provided to “all other persons.” This remained law until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.

The Civil War began when 11 southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Engulfed in these southern states was the culture of abundant profits and inconsequential brutality known as slavery. With ‘free’ land stolen by the Natives and ‘free’ labor stolen from Africa and South America, sold for cheap on the corner of Water and Wall Street, southern whites made up 3/5th of the wealthiest individuals in the county. Needless to say, abolishing slavery threatened the financial stability of slaveowners and economic growth of the states.

In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery except as punishment to a crime. Abraham Lincoln wrote a Ten Percent Plan, allowing prewar voters that take an oath of loyalty to form a new state government. This allowed freed populations of black communities to form democratic governments, calling for the full civil and political rights of former slaves. After Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson told the South so long as slavery was abolished and war debts were paid, the government would look the other way when it came to Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws. It wasn’t until 1870 with the Fifteenth Amendment that all citizens, regardless of color or previous status of servitude, would be afforded the right to vote.

While Presidential elections are the most publicized, the State and local elections are the most important. In state and local elections, you are choosing the person you want to be your voice at the Capitol. State and local officials are Constitutionally designed to represent their populations. Through voting power, we can push those representatives to reflect the population.

There are many excuses as to why local elections have a low voter turnout. There is also often confusion as to the purpose behind voting. In fact, the process of learning about the positions of different candidates may sound tedious and overwhelming. It’s not emphasized as much as it should be, but we, citizens, have the right to have a say in the changes that happen in our community. We have the luxury of having the ability to elect and choose an individual of our choosing to protect our property, families, health, job security, education, and domestic safety. With that luxury, we may have to acquire the task of learning about the proposed changes around us and choose a position.

In 2022, there are at least 260 positions that depend on our electorate participation. Since 1980, Texas has been a Republican voting state. 60% of the Texas population are people of color. That means 156 candidates that we choose this year ought to reflect the values in our black and brown communities.

Our ancestors were not privy to the luxuries that we enjoy today. The fight towards equity and against injustice will not be won until all of the warriors do their part. The registration to vote ends on May 7, 2022. See you at the polls!


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.

Scroll to Top