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Joe Webb Sr. passes away

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Joe Webb Sr. Longest serving SATX politician D2 Councilman passes away

On Saturday, September 17, 2021 Joe Webb Sr passed away at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Born in Beeville Texas in in 1935. It was in Beeville that Mr. Webb learned the value of community. He graduated from High School in 1952 and married Frances Dee Toliver in 1953. In 1955 Joe Webb Sr moved back to San Antonio. He began his work at the YMCA in 1957. During these years Joe Webb began to understand the power of higher education and what it could mean for his family financially. He attended San Antonio College and St. Mary’s University.

HEB

In the late 1960’s Joe Webb Sr. began his career with HEB. Charles Butt traveled from Corpus Christi Texas to personally hire Joe Webb Sr. In 1969 he entered the HEB Managerial program. He then became the manager of several HEB grocery stores. Most notably the first African American to manager HEB store #1 and the East Side flagship HEB on N. New Braunfels.

DISTRICT 2

Joe Webb’s relationship with San Antonio’s East Side began with his employment at the YMCA. There he met and networked with many of the city’s movers and shakers. They were impressed with his ability to effectively communicate and express the needs of the people within his neighborhood. It was here that he was encouraged to use his gift to seek greater employment opportunities and political office. Joe Webb’s campaign began as all grass roots campaigns do. The use of family and friends to make phone calls and knock on doors, he spoke at various Church’s and public gathering. Soon his idea of a bigger and more dynamic East Side caught on and in 1977 the East Side cast their ballots for Joe Webb Sr as their representative City Councilman for District 2. Mr. Webb would retain this seat through many elections, finally ending his City Council career in 1991. Those years between 1977 and 1991 were years of great change not just for the East Side but for the City of San Antonio at large. Joe Webb served on the City Council with names are we are still familiar with today. His contemporaries included former San Antonio Mayor and United States HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former TX St. Representative, Senator, Mayor and currently Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff as well as former Mayor and Author Lila Cockrell.

PRIDE IN THE EAST SIDE

While in and out of office, Joe Webb used his name and clout to support and encourage many East Side causes. He owned and operated his own grocery store on the East Side. He was an early supporter of the MLK celebration, and he helped to secure the Alamodome.  He has been awarded numerous times for his contributions to San Antonio. In 1992 The City of San Antonio renamed Durango Bridge the Joe Webb Bridge. In 1995 Ruth Jones McClendon read into the City Council minutes a proclamation honoring Joe Webb Sr. for his service to the community. 2016 saw then Councilman Alan Warrick II award Joe Webb Sr. the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017 the Bexar County Historical Society interviewed and entered his biography into their official database. Joe Webb Sr. was a Minister of the Gospel, a lifetime member of the NAACP as well as a Grand Master of the Masonic Masons.

ELDER STATESMAN

In 1999 Frances Webb passed away and Joe Webb Sr, became a widow. He later married current wife, Mrs. Barbara Webb. The couple remained an active part of the community and Joe Webb Sr. continued to engage in East Side politics through speaking engagements and support of various District 2 candidates and Councilpersons.

Community

MLK Day of Service

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Alpha Tau Omega Chapter, San Antonio’s local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrated the Sorority’s 114th Founding Anniversary with a day on and not a day off. For this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. service project they hosted a Community-wide Food and Winter Items Drive. Members collected can goods, non-perishable items, winter wear clothing (hoodies, gloves, jackets, etc.), and blankets. The ladies braved the cold and withstood the windy gusts Saturday morning. Their work was not in vain as they continue to be a service to all mankind.

Thanks to the donations from chapter members and the community, several hundred pounds of food as well as winter wear was collected and will be donated to support the San Antonio Food Bank and homeless street outreach efforts in San Antonio.

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Community

Nation’s Largest MLK March Cancelled

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Due to the current influx of omicron cases in and around San Antonio, the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. March has been cancelled. The event was previously scheduled to take place on January 17th, but concerns for public safety and continued presence of the virus on the route led to its cancellation.

The MLK board met and made the decision Thursday night. The board will decide what they plan to include in next Monday’s meeting.

Renee Watson, who is the chairperson of the Martin Luther King march, says that COVID-19 testing will be available together with vaccine shots at Pittman Sullivan Park.

As of Thursday afternoon, the most recent update from DreamWeek says their events are still on but their plans are impromptu.

The in-person event, which had been held every year since 1987, was changed to a virtual event in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

After over 20,000 diagnoses cases from the first week of the year, it makes sense to cancel a show for safety reasons.

Nathaniel Davis, past chair of Martin Luther King Junior March, died this week. We are saddened by his loss and extend our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

Stayed tuned to Black Video News for the latest statement and updates.

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Art

MLK Park is the site of a new sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.

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In 2022, when the MLK march sets off from Martin Luther King Jr. Park, it will have a new public sculpture at the starting point that becomes an iconic part of the march.

The San Antonio-based artist, Kaldric Dow, completed his monumental outdoor installation called Spheres of Reflection. With the piece reaching almost 17 feet in height, it’s a major achievement for Dow and artists of color in the city.

The steel & concrete sculpture called “Spheres” was both Dow’s first public art piece and first large scale sculpture. Created through the department of Arts and Culture’s “Sketch to Sculpture” program, Spheres was realised in 2019.

We recognized that in order to work towards diversity and equity in public art, we needed to be able to use all the resources at our disposal. Many artists would have difficulties working with large scale commission texts or material they weren’t well versed in. We want to provide what is usually unavailable for them so they can contribute more to the department’s goals, said Stacey Norton, administrator.

Previously, Dow had been known primarily as a portrait painter. He exhibited his work at Luminaria, AP Art Lab, and the San Antonio International Airport. He said he can easily generate ideas for sculptures but without the Sketch to Sculpture program, making Spheres and its companion piece installed in the River Walk Art Garden downtown would not have been possible.

“My initial idea for the piece began with a self-portrait and an elaborate hair style,” Dow stated while talking about his creative process. He started by sketching himself with an elaborate hairdo. “I find it empowering to know something I created myself was turned into drawings, then cut out, and finally turned into this 3D sculpture.”

The self-portrait evolved into a purposefully androgynous face in the 1980s when artist Roy Dow said in his retrospective last year with the museum: “I want people to feel familiar with the face to where it can represent someone in their family or their friends. On the subject of colors, “Cor-Ten” is an iron compound with a familiar industrial history. It’s uses cater to the demands of black skin tones like it does in Dow’s portraits.

Black culture’s widespread embrace of hair as a symbol of pride and celebration of heritage.

Dow states that special rings of black-painted steel spheres stacked four rows high evoke Black culture’s widespread embrace of hair as a symbol of pride and celebration of heritage. The sculpture gains resonance with its surroundings through words written on the lower rows of spheres. These quotes from Dr. King each have a meaning that reflects the mood of the sculpture, for example “Dream,” “Bold,” and “Desire.”

With completing Spheres of Reflection, Dow looks forward to the public dedication and MLK March on Jan. 11 and 17 respectively.

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