As the observance of black history was coming to a close, individuals of all races had an opportunity to reflect on the effect that black history has had on their lives. There were many programs and events which were dedicated to the accomplishments of African-Americans; men and women on the national stage, notably President Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Toni Morrison, to name a few.
We must never forget those Africans who were brought to America in bondage and lived and died simply wanting to be free, as they were before they were enslaved by whoever purchased them. Most of their names were never recorded; however, the fruits of their suffering and sacrifices live on.
As we continue to study and examine the accomplishments of African-Americans, we know and reaffirm, unequivocally, that we are proud of who we are. From one generation to another, because of God’s grace, we survived as a race. Other races survived as well.
There are those who feel that our African-American heroes were right here in our community. We feel that our parents, educators and religious leaders were our heroes. They helped us navigate through the Jim Crow and segregated times. They taught us the irrefutable concept of a positive work ethic. All we had to do was listen and learn to fight for change in meaningful and powerful ways.
During the 1964-65 school year, we, as students, took a stand for needed change in our system. Because of the movement, the La Marque School District was finally integrated. The movement was supported by black and white like-minded citizens.
Many of us, because of our experiences, empathize with the school students in Parkland, Fla., as they are making a stand for change. Change often occurs when we witness the belief in everyone’s Constitutional rights of freedom of peaceful assembly be respected. Thank God for the special leadership we were afforded through the wisdom of Professor P.S. Simms, who had a school named for him. Simms will be rebuilt.
We have now transcended to another movement in our community. The Texas City and La Marque school districts have been consolidated. Some choose to say that we were forced on Texas City. Just so it is known, some of us have been apart of Texas City since the 1950s. State Highway 348 and FM 1765 never divided us.
Due to Hurricane Harvey, we now face an unforeseen problem. Some school buildings were flooded beyond repair. A committee was formed to evaluate the problem. After months of study, we presented our findings. We recommended a bare-boned bond proposal, which included four new schools being built in the district. It is no longer La Marque and Texas City, it is the Texas City Independent School District — period. Therefore, come join us and make it the Crown Jewel of Texas. Vote yes for the bond. Cougars and Stings forever.