Tag Archives: Black HIstory Month

Honor African Americans during Black History Month by learning about HISD’s namesake schools

HISD is celebrating Black History Month by exploring the many schools named for distinguished African Americans in the community. The district has more than 30 schools that recognize the contributions of African American leaders ranging from renowned educators to legislators to community leaders. The first week’s story focused on early childhood centers and elementary schools. Last week, the series continued with middle and combination schools, and this third week is high schools, alternative schools, and the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.

Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center – When former teacher Hattie Mae White (1916-1993) was elected to the HISD Board of Education in 1958, she was the first African American elected to public office in Texas in the 20th century. She led the effort to desegregate Houston’s schools, undeterred despite racist attacks. White also was elected to the YWCA Metropolitan Board of Directors, where she served for six years. After being defeated for a third term with HISD, she returned to teaching and retired at age 70. She attended Booker T. Washington High School and the former Texas Southern University before graduating from what is now Prairie View A&M University. The HISD district headquarters building on Richmond was named in her honor, as is the new building on W. 18th Street that replaced it.

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Honor African Americans during Black History Month by learning about HISD’s namesake middle schools 

HISD is celebrating Black History Month by exploring the many schools named for distinguished African Americans in the community. The district has more than 30 schools that recognize the contributions of African American leaders ranging from renowned educators to legislators to community leaders. The first week’s story focused on early childhood centers and elementary schools. This week, the series continues with middle and combination schools, and the third week will be high schools, charter schools, and alternative schools. Continue reading

I Am HISD: Former Westbury HS football player becomes first African-American stadium director at Butler

George Walker poses for a photograph at Butler Stadium, January 31, 2017.

George Walker Jr. is an accomplished athlete who was All-American and All-State in football at Westbury High School, graduated in 2004, and went on to play for the University of Texas. Now he is back at HISD, where he was recently named stadium director of the Joe Kelly Butler Athletic Complex – the first African American to hold the position. In this edition of I Am HISD, Walker talks about his new role and how he benefitted from participating in sports.  

You grew up in HISD and were a star student athlete at Westbury. What sports did you participate in and what impact did your involvement in sports have on you?
I participated in football, basketball, and track. I was All-American and All-State in football, and was honorable mention in All-State in basketball. I went to the regionals in track. Then I got a scholarship to college for doing something I loved. When you’re involved in sports, you make memories that can get you through tough times, and you learn to fight through things together with your teammates. It also teaches perseverance. You learn never to give up. The sooner you learn that the better off you’ll be going through life. Continue reading

Celebrate Black History Month with family-friendly events 

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the richness of African-American culture and recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S. history, as well as the numerous contributions African Americans have made to society.

Below are some ways to celebrate Black History Month in Houston: Continue reading

Honor African-Americans during Black History Month by learning about HISD’s namesake elementary schools 

HISD is celebrating Black History Month by exploring the many schools named for distinguished African-Americans in our community. The district has more than 30 schools that recognized the contributions of African-American leaders ranging from renowned educators to legislators to community leaders. The first week’s story will focus on early childhood centers and elementary schools. Next week, the series will continue with middle schools, and the third week will be high schools, charter schools, and alternative schools.  Continue reading

Distinguished African-American alumni empower themselves, others through education

Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from HISD high schools. This final article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful careers in education. Previous articles highlighted athletesartistspoliticians, and media professionals.

Despite laws forbidding the education of slaves and generations of African Americans being denied the right to schooling, African-American leaders have always stressed that the key to success is a high-quality education.

In the HISD family, many distinguished African-American alumni strived to help others overcome generations of poverty and illiteracy by gaining an education.

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Slideshow quiz tests knowledge of distinguished African-American HISD alumni

How well do you know your distinguished alumni from HISD? Take our quiz and find out!

In honor of Black History Month this year, the district’s Communications team has put together a question-and-answer-style slideshow that highlights 24 different African-American graduates, along with the years they earned their high-school diplomas.

Among those featured are professional athletes, artists, elected officials, and more.

Black History Month runs from Feb. 1 through Feb. 29.

Black History Month 2016: Spotlight on HISD’s distinguished alumni

Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from district high schools. This first article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful athletic careers. Others will spotlight artists, educators, legislators, and those with careers in radio, TV, and film.

HISD alumnus Moran Norris regularly gives back to the schools he attended, including Madison High School (pictured). Here, he is distributing backpacks to incoming freshmen during the fall 2015 orientation.

HISD alumnus Moran Norris regularly gives back to the schools he attended, including Madison High School (pictured). Here, he is distributing backpacks to incoming freshmen during the fall 2015 orientation.

From Wimbledon finalist and Olympic gold-medalist Zina Garrison (Sterling, Class of 1982) to National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and Olympic bronze-medalist Chukwuemeka Noubuisi “Emeka” Okafor (Bellaire, 2001), HISD has produced dozens of African-American graduates who have gone on to enjoy impressive careers in professional sports.

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Black History Month celebration at East Early College High School

East Early College High School’s Black History Program on Feb. 27 was a great success. School librarian Cynthia Ramos coordinated the celebration, which included the singing of the Black American Anthem, guest speaker Attorney Elizabeth Campbell, poetry readings, performances, a Quiz Bee, and an awards ceremony.

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