Elegance ambiance, a red carpet runway with a photo backdrop, live jazz music, celebrity guest appearances, a delicious dinner, wine, hors d’oeuvres — and did I mention, poetry from some of the best spoken-word artist around.

The annual Juneteenth Poetry Slam will be the place to see and be seen.

Because of his love for writing poetry and speaking, Dedrick Johnson, former Texas City commissioner, 12 years ago successfully pitched the idea of having an annual poetry event to commemorate Juneteenth in the city.

Since then, it has become a staple during the weeklong community celebration and has grown into a sold-out red carpet event with more than 500 attending.

The 2019 Juneteenth Poetry Slam Celebration is set for June 14, when poets from Galveston, San Antonio, Austin and Texas City will show off their skills in the Poetry Slam.

The poets usually speak on various issues — social, personal passions and a host of other subjects. Some have competed on the national stage. Interest in spoken-word poetry is growing rapidly and is even being taught in some schools as a form of creative expression.

Locals behind Poetry Slam: Dennis J. Harris, Dennis Harris, Dedrick Johnson, Charles Brooks, Debra Taylor, Jay Williams, Norris Williams, Thelma Bowie, Chria McCall, DeAndre Knoxson and Mary Margaret Smith.

Call 409-939-8102 for more information.


The Charles T. Doyle Convention Center in Texas City was buzzing Wednesday. Folks were decked out in Houston Astros gear, orange tablecloths adorned tables covered with — you guessed it — more Astros stuff: balls, bats, baseball hats, candy and confetti ... it was an epic sight with an air of excitement and celebration.

All of this action happened in the middle of the day, at the Texas City Chamber-La Marque membership luncheon. Reid Ryan, president of the Astros, was in the house as the keynote speaker. He shared his journey from a bat boy hanging out with his dad, Nolan Ray, to the moment winning the 2017 World Series Championship.

And, of course, he brought his real World Series ring and let us try it on, which was drop-the-mic cool!

A special heartfelt moment occurred when the entire room of more than 150 locals recognized the 100 Club Police Officers of the Year.

These officers were the first to arrive at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018, when as a deadly shooting was underway — Lt. Brent A. Cooley, of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Sgt. Earl “Tripp” Vicknair III and Troopers Steven Yaden and Mauro Arce, of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Our community will forever be grateful to these brave men for their selfless action.

Doreen Hughes covers events and happenings across the county. Her column appears each Sunday. Contact her at newsroom@galvnews.com with “Out and About” in the subject line.

(2) comments

Samuel Collins III

Great column this morning. Juneteenth Poetry, Astros President and the officers all great subjects. Each year I support the poetry slam as one of the backdrop sponsors. Thank you for spotlighting the Juneteenth Poetry Slam.

Dedrick Johnson

Juneteenth Poetry Slam continues to grow thanks to community support. Thank you to Marathon Petroleum, SLC Investment Services, Easy Traveling with MeMe, Realtor Dee Glass of Generation Realty, and Sting to Sting Scholarship Foundation for helping make this event a huge success. To all the professional writers and orators, THIS IS YOUR STAGE! Thank you City of Texas City for celebrating our freedom with us!!

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