This past Saturday, February 11, the city of Missouri City held a free day-long Black History Month Celebration at the Missouri City Community Center in the city hall complex, in recognition of local African American leaders and advocates.
Although there have been several events and celebrations sponsored by outside committees in prior years, such as in 2015 when Missouri City held a dedication ceremony for Thomas Taylor Parkway – named for the first African American Fort Bend County Commissioner – this is the first year that the city of Missouri City has officially sponsored it.
“This year, we wanted to seamlessly blend together celebrations of history, community leaders, local advocates and area youth,” said Missouri City Manager Anthony Snipes.
A formal event program was held to start the day, where Mayor Allen Owen and Missouri City Council Members Don Smith, Jerry Wyatt, Floyd Emery, along with many other special guests and dignitaries delivered remarks, proclamations and special recognition. Pastor Rudolph White, Jr., founder and Senior Pastor of Christian Bible Church located in Missouri City, delivered the invocation. U.S. Congressman Al Green (TX-9), State Rep. Ron Reynolds (Dist. 27) and State Sen. Boris Miles (Dist. 13) all delivered remarks.
Forward Times Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney also delivered remarks and shared the Forward Times’ place in Black History with attendees, along with the many stories and issues out of Missouri City and Fort Bend that the Forward Times had covered over the years. Boney also made a special announcement to attendees, informing them that the Forward Times was excited to be adding a new special Fort Bend section to the publication in the next several months that will specifically and exclusively highlight issues, news and people in the Fort Bend community.
Afternoon programming on the day included cultural cuisine tastings; performances from national-recording artist Angel Taylor (formerly of Trin-I-Tee 5:7) and Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws; a lively DJ; a dance showcase featuring the Fort Bend Academy of Arts and Dance; a performance by the Hightower High School African Dance Groups; and children’s activities – face painting, a photo booth and a bounce house obstacle course. Food trucks and vendors were also on site selling edible food and refreshments.
Partners included St. John Missionary Baptist Church; Alpha Kappa Alpha; Alpha Phi Alpha; Suburban Houston-Fort Bend Alumnae Chapter – Delta Sigma Theta; Kappa Alpha Psi; Omega Psi Phi; Phi Beta Sigma; Sigma Gamma Rho; and many more.