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THS African American History Parade 2017

Left to right; top row:   President Austin Lane, Texas Southern University is the Grand Marshall, sitting on the top.  Mrs. Lane, passenger, and the Houston National Association of Corvette Association is the driver,  Deloyd Parker, Ex. Dir. Shape Community Center

Below: Parade participants are: Houston Southwest Can Academy and Dr. Ruth Hoffman-Lach

Photo Credit Tanuke Smith

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Honoring History through the Streets of 3rd Ward

By Tanuke Smith

The Houston Sun foundation held its 2nd annual Black History parade, near the newly renovated and historic Emancipation park. On Saturday morning at approximately 10:30 am, parade participants formed a line on Tuam street facing Dowling.  Texas Southern University’s president Dr. Austin A. Lane, was the Grand Marshall. Mr. And Mrs. Lane greeted bystanders with smiles in an alluringly bright red convertible corvette.

Dozens of people flocked to the streets when they heard the music coming from the loudspeakers of the float, presented by the Houston Southwest Can Academy’s drill team.


Dressed in Pan African attire, community leader Deloyd Parker proudly raised his left fist and smiled as he optimistically greeted the crowd; members of the community clapped and whistled and cheered him on as he walked by.

“I lived in this community for over 25 years, and I am proud to say that brother Deloyd is a good man,” said Brenda Williams.

Bystanders near Dowling and Alabama removed their caps, hats, and other headgear as the grayish white van, pulling the trailer representing the Buffalo SoldiersMmuseum slowly rolled by. Douglass Johnson, and Calvin Woods high-fived one another as they spoke to the crowd saying” it’s been years’ scene we saw a real parade coming down Dowling.” Douglass shifted his eyes to the ground as he pondered on the last time he saw a parade routed down Dowling St.






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Mayor Turner and First Daughter Celebrate Black History Month with Free “Hidden Figures” Screenings for 3,000 Students

Mayor Sylvester Turner and First Daughter Ashley Turner hosted free viewings of the award-winning movie “Hidden Figures” for nearly 3,000 students from area school districts over the last two weeks. The film’s plot focuses on female African-American mathematicians at NASA, specifically Katherine Johnson, who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than to expose students to the story of Katherine Johnson and her pivotal role in American history,” said Mayor Turner. “I hope the students learned that no matter their environment, if they stay focused and push forward, they can do something as amazing and transformative as sending a man or woman into space.  I want to thank our generous sponsors and my Director of Education Juliet Stipeche and Director of Community Relations Janice Weaver for making this project happen.”

“Our children are our future,” said Ashley Turner. “We don’t only want to talk about believing in them, but we also want to demonstrate that we care by investing in them and providing resources. This experience provided 3,000 students and teachers from 28 area schools the opportunity to have a learning experience outside the classroom that taught them valuable life lessons of perseverance, determination and collaboration.”

Before viewing the movie, the students watched a short welcome video in which the mayor and the First Daughter talked about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).   It is estimated that by 2018, there could be 2.4 million unfulfilled (STEM) jobs.

“Thank you for making the adventure occur for our young Lions!  They were all talking about the impact the movie had on them and how it was one of the best kept secrets about science,” said Kenneth Davis, principal of Jack Yates High School.

“Excellent movie,” said Agnes Perry, principal of Michael DeBakey High School for Health Professions. “Our students enjoyed the presentation and mentioned that they were inspired, especially our young ladies. They felt empowered. I want to thank Mayor Turner for providing the opportunity for our students to see the movie and experience a hidden part of history.”

“As an educator, I have often seen how financial constraints prevent students from luxuries such as going to a movie theater and viewing a film,” said Charlotte Harris, assistant principal of Milby High School. “You not only made it possible for students to experience going to a movie theater, but through this experience, you also opened their eyes to a world of endless possibilities.  Thank you for providing our students with the opportunity to get a glimpse into history and see the profound impact education can have on one’s future.”

The mayor’s first young ambassador, Yash Semlani also attended a viewing and addressed the crowd. Students were treated not only to a free screening but also had popcorn, drinks and a snack, and they walked the red carpet. The tickets were graciously donated by African American business leaders who partnered with Fandango for special viewings across the country. In Houston, sponsors included the American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, former Major League Baseball executive Jimmie Lee Solomon, New York investment bankers Bill Lewis and Charles Phillips, Horizon Group International Vice President Al Kashani, I’m Ready Productions CEO Je’Caryous Johnson and Martye Kendrick of Johnson Petrov.

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African American History and Symposium set


The Houston Sun is calling on you, the public again to help bring African American History and achievements alive. All cultures can participate. Put on your creative, proud hat and join our 2nd Annual African American History Parade, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at 10 AM. “Let’s showcase the accomplishments of black folks and take that knowledge to the streets. Spectators will learn and value the work of Freedmen and their descendants in American. So, it’s Show and Tell time on February 18, 2017 at 10 AM. Let’s teach the community about our diverse history and culture,”  Publisher Dorris Ellis said. It is important to note that this Parade and Symposium is set at the time of Brotherhood Week so that cultures can learn about each other as we work toward a more perfect union in America.

Texas Southern University’s President Dr. Austin Lane is the Grand Marshall and esteemed educators and civic leaders will serve as honorary Presidents. Among them are: Yvonne Gibbs, Dr. Thomas Freedmen, Captain Paul Matthews, and Ovide Duncantell.

Staging is at Hutchinson and Tuam near Emancipation Park at 9:00 AM. So go ahead and think about who or what you are going to represent. Each individual or group in the parade is asked to do a little homework and decide upon a person, invention or iconic event that was created, invented or made known by an African American. Be creative and showcase their entry to the spectators and to the judges. The esteem panel of judges, vibrant Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, The imaginative Sister Mama Sonja and the artistic Michelle Barnes at the end of the parade at Texas Southern University. Awards will be presented to the winners at the beginning of the Symposium at Texas Southern.

Following the Parade, we host the From Crisis to Solutions Symposium, moderated by State Representative Dr. Alma Allen and co-sponsored by the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs in room 114 from 12:30-4 PM. The Symposium starts with Parade Award Presentations, and opens with a performance by the TSU Dr. Thomas Freedman’s Debate Team. Engagement between the community and the panelists will be guided Dr. Allen. Among the panelists are: Rep. Senfronia Thompson,  Dr. Richard Petrie, Percival Gibbs, and, Aileen Fonsworth.

Families, educators, religious and community leaders, business social organizations leaders, plus the total human network who can place solutions on the table to empower generations present and future.

The goal is to find solution to known problems.

Making life better for the present and the future is the focus.