Connect with us

Black Life Texas

The Shadow Pandemic: Domestic Violence Spikes During Lockdowns



While many people worldwide were protecting their health in lockdowns during the pandemic, another “shadow pandemic” was surging – domestic violence. In February 2021, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received more than 74,000 calls, texts and chats – the highest volume in its 25-year history.

The United Nations called it a shadow pandemic because of the alarming trends in 13 countries. Many countries reported double-digit increases in domestic violence. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine highlighted San Antonio in its December 2020 article and said when schools closed on March 20, 2020, and stay-at-home orders came on March 24 in San Antonio, the local police department subsequently noted they received an 18% increase in calls pertaining to family violence in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men report experiencing some form of intimate partner violence each year.

Recently on Oct. 20, Bexar County’s 2021 annual report on domestic violence was issued by the City County Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence (CCDV). This is the second year the CCDV compiles the data with the intent of providing a complete picture of the state of domestic violence in the county.

In San Antonio, the top five zip codes for family violence calls in 2021 were 78207, 78223, 78228, 78227 and 78201. In just these five zip codes, there were over 27,000 calls. In 2021, the San Antonio Police Department reported 22 family violence homicides which is down from 30 in 2020.

The city’s new domestic violence hotline was initiated in August 2021 as a CCDV collaborative approach. Of the 371 calls that came into the hotline in 2021, 24% were identified as a high risk for lethality or a person has an elevated likelihood of being killed by their intimate partner.

Of the high-risk cases, 45% of the victims fled their homes to seek safety either at the Battered Women’s and Children’s Shelter, the Domestic Violence Hotel, or with friends and family. It is important for a victim, including their children, to leave their home because it breaks the cycle of violence.

The CCDV report said the Bexar County District Attorney’s Family Violence Division and Protective Order Division saw a 23% increase of protective order petitions filed in Civil District Courts in the 2020-2021 timeframe. The Center for Health Care Services, which serves as the local mental health authority saw an increase of 4.7% for adults and 9.2% for children who have witnessed family violence in 2020-21.

Due to these fears, many people are less likely to get the police involved, even with their safety at risk.

Along with the city-county annual report, Bexar County Commissioners Court recently approved a three-year independent study, to asses Bexar County’s justice system’s response to domestic violence. A recent survey by Metro Health’s Violence Prevention Department revealed that many victims said the judicial system is broke and often male spouses get the benefit of the doubt and more rights.

Also due to systemic racism, both Black women and Black men experience domestic violence at higher rates than in other communities, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH). In fact, 45.1% of Black women experienced physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking from their intimate partner, while 40.1% of Black men experienced those abuses.

Black Life Texas – Oct 28th Edition

African Americans who are experiencing abuse may be less likely to call law enforcement due to fears of their partner being brutalized or killed by the police, said NDVH. On average, Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men, with Black women 1.4 times more likely to be killed than their white counterparts. Due to these fears, many people are less likely to get the police involved, even with their safety at risk.

One of the easiest ways to stop domestic violence is to spot the red flags in a relationship. Some of those warning signs are: telling a partner they can never do anything right; showing extreme jealousy of a partner’s friends or time spent away from them; preventing a partner from making their own decisions, including about working or attending school; and controlling finances in the household without discussion.

Victims also need to develop safety plans, especially if children are in the home. This includes teaching children when, how, and who to contact during an emergency; instructing them to leave the home when situations begin to escalate; coming up with a code word for when to leave the house in an emergency; and instructing them to go to a room in the house that they can go to when they’re afraid.
To learn more about safety plans and red flags, visit (

Black Life Texas

The Real History of Thanksgiving




The history of Thanksgiving cannot be discussed without recognizing the reality of genocide committed against Native Indigenous people. Free land was the enticement for European settlers to come to the Americas. The Native populations on these lands would have to be removed or conquered to accomplish their goals.

Many foreigners were already slave owners who wanted to plant cash crops using Black slave labor. The history of the United States cannot be fully understood unless one examines “settler colonialism.” Settler colonialism was founded on the ideology of land theft, genocide, and slavery. Those who have written American history with an eraser of bias have found it easy to perpetuate the Thanksgiving myth of Europeans sitting down with Native Americans and enjoying a food feast together—nothing could be further from the truth.

What came before this so-called “Thanksgiving” was murder, genocide, and slavery of Native people before and after the mythical thank you dinner. Puritan settlers came up with the idea of the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a racist law enacted by the Pope of that time and brought to America by the less-than-honorable Christopher Columbus. This is the part of the American origin myth that professors and teachers still ignore to be accepted in the world of historical falsehoods. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy of murder and land theft to satisfy a false religious belief in racial destiny (also called Manifest Destiny). Settlers required violence to realize their dreams of wealth. No community will willingly give up their land, children, resources, and dignity without a fight, and Indigenous people did not go down without a fight against these ideals that were rooted in a colonial agenda that had a religious spin on it. When European settlers were crossing the ocean and illegally crossing borders, it was something supposedly legal and sanctioned by God.

America was not a virgin land or wilderness filled with wild animals but a land tame to Native people. It was a network of native communities that linked people through roads and trails they carved themselves, which they built long before Europeans arrived. Native people cultivated farmland and crops to survive the harsh winters in the northern parts of America. The Native people knew where the oyster beds were, the water routes, and what plants had medicinal value. Settlers came to America with a culture of conquest and killing that they experienced in hundreds of years of religious savagery between Catholics and Protestants, especially the killing and exploitation of the Irish by the English and Scottish. White supremacy can be traced to the Christian Crusades against Muslims and not to capitalism, though capitalism exploited the idea to the fullest later.

These Europeans did not tame the wilderness. They invaded and murdered the original inhabitants. There are many fake origin stories from one country to the next, as apartheid South Africa once claimed and is now claimed by Israel using similar tactics for decades in a systematic way to force Palestinians from their homes, according to Amnesty International.

The fake Captain John Smith story never mentions his threat to kill all Native women and children if the Native people would not help feed and clothe the settlers from England and provide free labor for the English settlement. When Native people refused, the settlers burned their crops in an attempt to starve out the so-called “Indians.” This would result in the Pequot War, in which settlers would slaughter the Pequot tribe in the 1600s. Unknown to many, this was the first “Thanksgiving,” according to research by historians, in which settlers had a celebration thanking God for their murderous exploits. Scalp hunting was brought to America’s shores by the Scottish Protestants, who also invented the term “Redskin” to describe the bleeding head of one of their victims. Mutilated bloody corpses, which Puritans scalped, were the origin of the term “Redskin.” It was not developed as an indication of “race.” Later in history, the practice of scalping and gutting pregnant Native women would be carried out by the Scotsman Andrew Jackson, whom many now call the “Hitler of America.”

The Thanksgiving Myth is that of smiling “Indians” welcoming the European explorers to America, showing them how to reside in this ‘wilderness,” and sitting down to dinner with them. They supposedly hand their lands off to “frontiersmen,” so these invaders can create an incredible country committed to freedom, opportunity, and Christianity until the end of the world. That is the story — it’s about Native People yielding to settler colonialism. The myth is bloodless and, in numerous ways, an argument for the racist idea of Manifest Racial Destiny. Thus, the Thanksgiving myth was created to present a false history to deny the horrors of American origins and later to invent a fake ideology coined “American Exceptionalism.” American Exceptionalism was derived from these false ideas, created by criminal or ignorant historians, which claim that America is an “Innocent Nation” while other nations may have blood on their hands. Nothing could be further from the real history of America and the truth about Thanksgiving. Today, many of us celebrate family and friends and want nothing to do with the invented narrative. We can always choose to provide our own meanings and, at the same time, educate our community about the lies.

Continue Reading


Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays



Downtown San Antonio will sparkle this holiday season with an array of lights and holiday events. 

Set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most historic and charming walkways, five blocks of Houston Street will buzz with twinkling lights, decorations, entertainers, and vendors from Nov. 24 and runs through January 2. 

 Additionally, on Nov. 24, kick off the holiday festivities with the Annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Travis Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, food trucks, letters to Santa, giveaways, holiday crafts, a special visit from Santa, and a movie screening of “The Grinch.” The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Get front-row seats to the 42nd Annual Ford Holiday River Parade, which offers a spectacular one-hour parade along the San Antonio River Walk starting at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme, “Holiday Stories,” will kick off the San Antonio tradition. Always held the day after Thanksgiving, the parade and river lighting ceremony will feature 28 illuminated floats and over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands) illuminating the River Walk. The lights turn on from sundown to sunrise every day until the weekend following New Year’s Day. Seating ranges from $15 to $40. It is broadcast live at 7 p.m. at the Arneson River Theatre.

The Rotary Ice Rink, presented by Valero, will also return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. For more information, including hours of operation, pricing, and specials, visit (

For more events, go to (

Continue Reading

Black Life Texas

Black Soldiers’ Convictions Overturned – A Century Later!



More than 100 years later, the U.S. Army recently overturned the convictions of the 110 Black soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment (also known as the Buffalo Soldiers), who were falsely found guilty following the World War I-era Houston Riots. 

The records of these soldiers will be corrected, to the extent possible, to characterize their military service as honorable. Seventeen of these men are buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a sign telling the story of these men to educate visitors about what happened. 

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said, “After a thorough review, the Board has found that these soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials. By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight.”

The Houston Riots took place on Aug. 23, 1917, following months of racial provocations against members of the 24th — including the violent arrest and assault of two Black soldiers. Following the assaults and amid rumors of additional threats to soldiers, a group of more than 100 Black soldiers seized weapons and marched into the city, where clashes erupted. The violence left 19 people dead.

In the months that followed, the Army convicted 110 soldiers in a process that was, according to historians, characterized by numerous irregularities. Ultimately, 19 men were executed in the largest mass execution of American soldiers by the U.S. Army. The first set of executions occurred in secrecy and within a day of sentencing, leading the Army to implement an immediate regulatory change that prohibited future executions without review by the War Department and the President.

In 2020 and 2021, the South Texas College of Law petitioned the Army to review the convictions. Shortly after, the Army received petitions from retired general officers requesting clemency for all 110 soldiers.

“As a Texas native, I was grateful to participate in this process early in my tenure at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, and I am proud that the Army has now formally restored honor to soldiers of the 3-24 and their families,” said Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo. “We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been deeply involved as this case has unfolded and is prepared to assist any family members upon receipt of the corrected records. Relatives of the soldiers may be entitled to benefits. Family members or other interested parties may request a copy of the corrected records from the National Archives and Records Administration, in accordance with NARA Archival Records Request procedures found at (

Continue Reading

Hot Topics