Letter from the Editor By Debbie Z. Harwell, Managing Editor A child of the sixties, I believed at the time that activism centered around the power of the people who employed the in-your-face tactics we saw on the news or the protests we participated in on our college campuses. The civil rights and women’s rights […]
Activism takes many forms. Although most easily recognized by the sights and sounds of protestors marching down the street carrying signs, activism is also demonstrated quietly through the comforting voice that calms a stray animal or in a roadside memorial communicating awareness for road safety. The people behind these social movements, regardless of the voracity or visibility, strive for justice, peace, and positive change for Houston.
In 1899 Edward Wilbur Hayes left his home, Big Sandy in Upshur County, Texas, to attend Wiley College, walking sixty-two miles to Marshall, the location of the Methodist Episcopal school and Historical Black College/University, founded in 1873. His parents, former slaves and sharecroppers Peter and Caroline Hays, barely made enough money to feed their large family.
In May 1957, Maria Jimenez arrived in Houston, having just left her native Coahuila in Mexico to reunite with her father. Her family settled in a small Magnolia Park home near Maria’s school, Franklin Elementary. There, as a first grader, she experienced her first dose of anti-Mexican sentiments. Within the halls, classrooms, and playgrounds, school officials forbid Maria and other students to speak Spanish lest they face expulsion.
Perhaps a parade seems rather insignificant, but that is not the case and never was for the Houston Pride Parade. It represents a beacon of hope—a light in a dark place. It is a visual representation of the Houston LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community’s existence and a reminder that no member of the LGBT community stands alone in the fight for recognition.
The decedents of Felix A. Fraga and Angela Zamarron became business owners, judges, and elected officials, all well known in the East End and the larger Houston area. Growing up, I had heard bits and pieces of our family’s history, but some of the stories seemed to be hearsay. It became my mission to paint a complete picture of our history.
Who would have ever thought that a valise thrown onto burning trash heap outside a house being torn down in Houston would be rescued by an unsuspecting passerby and turn out to hold a historic collection of nineteenth century photographs? Well, it happened, and this is the story!
The extermination of six million Jews during World War II was a horrific event that will be remembered forever. In the city of Houston stands a distinguished building that has engraved within its walls the memories and stories of some of the survivors. The Holocaust Museum Houston’s mission is to remember those who perished in the Holocaust; to educate people about the dangers of hatred, prejudice, violence, and apathy; and to instill hope by working to repair the world.