Harris County supports formation of commission dedicated to preserving African American culture, history

Harris County Commissioners Court
The Harris County Commissioners Court discussed the formation of an African American Cultural Heritage Commission in a Jan. 7 meeting. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Harris County Commissioners Court discussed the formation of an African American Cultural Heritage Commission in a Jan. 7 meeting. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

In a unanimous decision, Harris County Commissioners Court supported the formation of an African American Cultural Heritage Commission, during its Jan. 7 meeting.

The commission will serve as an advisory board to aid in the identification, recognition and preservation of African American cultural heritage in Harris County.

Tanya Debose, executive director of the Independence Heights Redevelopment Council, said an entity is needed to take stock of the county’s cultural and historical assets as they pertain to African American heritage.

“In every one of the precincts that the commissioners cover, there are places where African Americans settled after the Civil War, places people don't even know about,” Debose said. “Our families came [from] out of those areas. [The Harris County African American Cultural Heritage Commission wants] to ... preserve some of that history, but also use it to inform the future, so that people will know the contributions of African Americans in Harris County.”

Founded in 1889 by freedman Harrison Barrett, Barrett Station is currently facing challenges in preserving the town’s history and culture due to recent growth, according to Barrett Station resident and descendant Melanie Fontenot. Fontenot said a commission dedicated to African American heritage would help the town deal with those challenges.


“Growth is a really good thing, but ... it's critical now that we [ramp] up our efforts in preserving [Barrett Station’s] heritage,” Fontenot said. “The way we do that is to be a part of commissions such as the one that we're asking [commissioners court] to support.”

Supporters also advocated cultural tourism as a potential source of funding for the proposed commission. Dolores Rodgers, who serves on the Emancipation Economic Development Council board, said Harris County’s rich historical heritage could be further utilized by the African American Cultural Heritage Commission in attracting outside visitors.

“We have a lot of jewels in our community,” Rogers said. “Preserving the history, culture, in our county is an economic advantage that we need to take better advantage of. A commission focusing on that, and leveraging that history, is very important.”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said next steps for the commission’s formation will include a review by the Harris County attorney. Further discussion on its feasibility and creation will follow.

“Part of the beauty of this is [the African American Cultural Heritage Commission] has really been driven by [community members], which is important and ... that’ll lead to an even better result,” Hidalgo said.
SHARE THIS STORY

<

MOST RECENT

Courtesy of Clear Creek ISD
New reading assistance applications, approaches empower Clear Creek ISD students in special education

In an effort to better support Clear Creek ISD special education students’ reading skills, the district has implemented two web-based applications and a multi-sensory approach to word cards at various pilot campuses.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County study on eliminating ride fares left both METRO board members and officials seemingly unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO board of directors say free fare 'not feasible' for transit authority

A METRO study on eliminating ride fares left board members and officials unconvinced of the likelihood of implementing it in Harris County.

Ralph Gordy Avenue construction close to finishing in Seabrook

A 2,000-foot road will be constructed between FM 518 and Hwy. 146 in Seabrook to create a new access point for residents and visitors who want to access retail and entertainment businesses.

Exploration Green, CLCWA
Clear Lake City Water Authority completes Phase 2 of Exploration Green

The second of five phases is complete in Exploration Green, Clear Lake City Water Authority’s project to turn a former golf course into a pond that will eventually hold 500 million gallons of stormwater.

I-45, League City Parkway intersection work underway

As a part of the I-45 widening project between FM 518 and FM 517, the Texas Department of Transportation will reconstruct the intersection of I-45 and League City Parkway.

Turner Street, Butler Road construction changed to complement other nearby road work

Turner Street will be rebuilt from the new roundabout on Calder Road to where it intersects with Butler Road to the west, and Butler will be reconstructed from that intersection north to where it intersects with League City Parkway.

(Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert tickets go on sale Jan. 16

Lower-level seating options are already very limited.

(Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council approves variance for gas well

After a lengthy discussion Jan. 14, the League City City Council approved a variance for a gas well that has been the subject of controversy and debate for years.

Texas oil and gas industry could see a major slowdown in 2020

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday.

HGA driver Derek King picks up a patient from David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring before transporting her to the Texas Medical Center. (Courtesy Derek King)
Houston Ground Angels seeking volunteers to drive patients to Texas Medical Center

Houston Ground Angels is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation between local airports and the Texas Medical Center for patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

(Courtesy city of League City)
Survey: Residents have positive perception of League City

According to the first randomly sampled survey done in League City in nearly a decade, residents have an above-average perception of the city compared to state and national averages.

Five Randalls across the Houston area will close in February. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Randalls closing 5 Houston area stores

Grocery chain Randalls is closing five stores across the Houston area.

Back to top