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Avista Products Presents 2021 Blackbook

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Black Professionals, Greek Sororities and Fraternities Featured in 2021 Blackbook Yearbook & Directory 

San Antonio, TX Dec. 1, 2021 –The San Antonio Blackbook Yearbook & Directory is proud to feature the “Divine Nine” this year in its annual book and premiere party on Monday, Dec. 6 at Antioch Sports Complex at 6 pm. The nine Greek Black fraternities and sororities that make up the “Divine Nine” have given thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students and helped countless nonprofits in supporting underserved residents. 

In addition to the “Divine Nine,” the 230-page Blackbook features nine individuals who have risen to prominence in their positions or given selflessly to the community. The candidates this year are: 

  • Vincent T. Davis – San Antonio Express-News Journalist
  • Marcel Johnson – Senior Vice President, Port San Antonio 
  • Alethia Jones – Artist/Painter
  • Bill Kent – Owner of BTL Technology
  • Deborah Omowale Jarmon,CEO/Director, San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum
  • Mark Outing – Owner of Mark’s Outing
  • Judge Jason Pulliam, U.S. Western District
  • San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson
  • Charles Williams – Entrepreneurial pioneer on East Side

Bringing these individuals and Greek organizations together in one book is significant because it gives San Antonio an opportunity to see their community impact. Blackbook Publisher Carl Booker said for the last 10 years, this book has brought out the rich diversity that is here in our city but often is not recognized. These professionals and organizations quietly push the envelope to lead and be the best in their organizations. This is also the only local print publication where you will find over 1,400 business listings featuring mostly Black business owners and showcases event coverage of prominent local African American events.  

“In this edition of the Blackbook, we were able to capture a year a lot of people would like to forget due to the pandemic. As stewards of our generation, it is our responsibility to document and measure where we are at and even how struggles have shaped us. Despite the challenge we faced last year, this book gives me hope of the strength of our local Black community,” said Booker, who is also owner of San Antonio-based Avista Products. 

The Blackbook is an award-winning publication that is archived in the Institute of Texan Cultures Library Collection, UTSA’s Libraries Special Collections and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin. This year’s event is emceed by Jermaine “J Cole” Coleman, Sr., U.S. Army veteran, TV/film producer, director and writer and host of various Black Video News shows. To learn more about the Blackbook, go here.

About Avista Products

Avista Products creates and publishes the Blackbook annually. Avista Products also provides business solutions, design and production services for the community in the greater San Antonio area. Additionally, it partners with local corporate, nonprofits and other organizations to encourage best business practices in the African American Community. For more information, visit www.avistaproducts.com

About Blackbook Directory & Yearbook

Blackbook Directory and Yearbook is an annual hardback book featuring archival activities and industry profiles with business listings. Black Video News, compliments the Blackbook, and is a news network that has been also documenting the local community. It will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022. Additional information: www.blacksinsanantonio.com, www.blackvideonews.com, www.bvn.news 

You can still be a part of history by joining us one last time in 2021.

What’s inside?

230 Full Color pages w/hardback cover
Over 1400 Business Listings
38 Page spread of regional
       Greek Chapter Roll Call

2021 Special Event Coverage
Dreamweek Pictorial Recap
Black Worship Clergy Hall of Fame Dinner
Introducing the Class of 2021
       Blacks @ Work
San Antonio’s Most Influential
       Dream Team

Community

“Councilman Joe Webb Day” in SA

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The family of Joe Webb, Sr. received a Proclamation from the County and is inviting the community to come out to celebrate “Councilman Joe Webb Day” Sunday, September 18, 2022. There will be a balloon release in honor of his legacy and first year of his death. The celebration will take place at the Joe Webb Bridge at 2:00 p.m.

Former City Councilman Joe Webb was a man of firsts. He was the first African American Manager of an HEB store; he managed Store #7 on New Braunfels Ave. for many years and then worked his way up to Store Director for different areas within the city of San Antonio. Webb eventually opened up his own full-service store called WebbWay on the city’s Eastside. Webb was also the longest serving councilman for District 2. He was elected in 1977 and served in that position until 1991.

At the age of 86, Joe Webb, Sr. passed last year following complications from kidney failure. Webb was a pastor and a devote servant of the Lord. For those who didn’t know him he was also known for his melodious baritone voice.

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Community

The 39th Annual Jazz’SAlive

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – The City of San Antonio’s Official Jazz Music Festival is ensuring Jazz Is Alive in San Antonio! The San Antonio Parks Foundation, in partnership with The City of San Antonio and Michelob Ultra, present the 39th Annual Jazz’SAlive Festival on September 23 and 24 in downtown San Antonio. In addition to stages in historic Travis Park, for the second consecutive year, festival organizers will program a stage at Legacy Park. The San Antonio Parks Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization providing improvements to parks and the park experience to the area’s 250+ parks and over 150 miles of walking and biking trails.

Jazz’SAlive General Admission is free, all ages, and open to the public! No outside food or beverage is allowed. Tickets are available for premium seating and VIP areas.

Jazz’SAlive offers a limited number of premium Patron Seats at the main stage for those who want to upgrade their viewing experience and leave the lawn chairs at home. Patron Seats are sold as single-day tickets. Fans who wish to have a Patron Seat on both Friday and Saturday will need to purchase a ticket for each day. Each ticket includes 1 priority seat the main stage in Travis Park with access to a cash bar and cocktail service.

For more information visit https://saparksfoundation.org/event/jazzsalive/,

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Art

Introducing Labor Plaza – A Public Art Tribute to the Labor Movement in San Antonio

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DOWNTOWN PLAZA FEATURES SCULPTURES, POETRY AND VISUAL ARTS THAT WILL EDUCATE AND INSPIRE VISITORS.

SAN ANTONIO (September 2, 2022) – The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture invites the community to visit the newly completed Labor Plaza, which highlights the contributions of the labor movement and labor leaders in San Antonio and the United States. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg will be on-site for the official ribbon cutting ceremony which will be held on Monday, September 5, 2022 at 11:45 a.m.

Located in the River Walk Public Art Garden on Market Street across from the Henry B. González Convention Center, Labor Plaza is located in a space that was originally home to a sculpture of labor leader Samuel Gompers, created in 1982 by Betty Jean Alden. Due to irreparable structural damage caused by time and weather elements, the sculpture had to be decommissioned and deinstalled. The Department of Arts & Culture collaborated with American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) on a contemporary way to replace the sculpture and continue to recognize labor, civil rights and social justice in San Antonio in the space.

“Labor Plaza is a tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of labor leaders throughout the history of San Antonio,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones. “We hope that the community will find this space to be engaging, inspiring and educational as we commemorate the labor movement from the past to the present.”

Visitors to Labor Plaza will find etchings and visual artworks embedded throughout the plaza including a poem titled So that Our Crossing May Never be Obstructed and five artworks by Octavio Quintanilla, San Antonio Poet Laureate 2018 – 2020; an excerpt from labor anthem Solidarity Forever written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915; and biography etchings recognizing eight notable San Antonio labor figures. Influential leaders, who are honored at the space, include Emma Tenayuca, Hank Brown, Rebecca Flores, Joan Suarez, Robert Thompson, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Mario Marcel Salas, Samuel Gompers and Shelley Potter.

In addition, a sculptural series titled I Remember Everything by Washington-based artist Ries Niemi is installed within the plaza. The Department of Arts & Culture worked with San Antonio landscape architect firm Terra Design Group to craft the layout of the space to inspire learning and reflection on labor in San Antonio.

Linda Chavez-Thompson was the first Hispanic woman to serve as an Executive Board member of the National AFL-CIO in 1993 and then elected to a newly created position of Executive Vice-President of the National AFL-CIO in 1995. She served in office thru 2007, when she retired and came back home to San Antonio.  “We are grateful to the City of San Antonio for recognizing the hard-fought efforts and accomplishments of the local labor movement through this beautiful Labor Plaza,” said Chavez-Thompson. “Personally, it is an honor to be included alongside such influential labor leaders, who have all had a tremendous impact on the labor movement so that working people today have better wages and working condition and workers’ rights.” 

Labor Plaza is part of the River Walk Public Art Garden, which functions as an outdoor public art exhibition featuring works from San Antonio and international artists. Some artworks by San Antonio artists also featured here include  “Bloom” by Leticia Huerta, “Green Spaces at Market Street” by Cade Bradshaw and Ashley Mireles, “Spheres of Reflection” by Kaldric Dow and “Najo Jām” by Carlos Cortés and Doroteo Garza.

For more information about Labor Plaza, the River Walk Public Art Garden and the Department of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Program, visit SanAntonio.gov/arts or follow the Department of Arts & Culture on social media at @GetCreativeSA.

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