Connect with us

Black Life Texas

Get Ready for Black Fiesta



Blues music, praise dances, a masquerade ball, rib cook-offs and some Big Easy fun are just some activities that will pack April 20 to April 30 in something we call “Black Fiesta.”

“Black Fiesta,” coined by the staff of Black Life Texas, are those official Fiesta events that bring out the Black community to party, mingle and enjoy food. Every year, San Antonio hosts Fiesta, which attracts over 2.5 million visitors and brings the city over $340 million in local sales. It’s estimated there are between 105 and 120 events between the 10 days of Fiesta.

Starting on April 21, the San Antonio Zulu Association will kick off A Taste of New Orleans at 5 pm through Sunday, April 23 from noon to 10 pm at the Sunken Garden grounds. The 36th annual event promises to mix a little N’awlins culture into South Texas. Enjoy authentic New Orleans-style food (gumbos, shrimp creole, etouffee, fresh crawfish, boudin, alligator, and beignets) and authentic New Orleans-style music (zydeco, cajun, jazz, brass bands, blues).

The featured headliner for “Taste” is Big Freedia – The Queen of New Orleans Bounce music. She will take the stage at 9 pm at the Sunken Garden Theater. Big Freedia is a nationally recognized hip-hop artist, TV personality, and cultural influencer. She made headline news for her feature on Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated single, Break My Soul, released last summer. Tickets to the “Taste of New Orleans” are $17 each. Kids 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online at ( or any HEB store.
The Alamo City Ques are back on April 22 with the 2023 Psi Alpha Foundation Masquerade Party from 8 pm to midnight at the Crown Ridge Banquet Hall, 6909 Camp Bullis Rd. Tickets are $50 at the door or visit ( to learn more. Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for students.

The St. Philip’s College CultureFest and Rib Cook-Off is an official Fiesta San Antonio event held on April 27 from 10 am to 4 pm on the St. Philip’s College MLK campus. The high-energy and kid-friendly festival features a rib cook-off, live music, a car show, food and non-food vendors, and several grill raffles – all in one location. Admission is free, and proceeds from CultureFest help fund student scholarships.

On April 28, the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, or SAAACAM will feature its premiere fundraising event for Fiesta-goers at The Espee Pavilion at 1174 E. Commerce from 5 pm to 11 pm. SAAACAM’s Fiesta Family Blues Festival honors Ellis Griffin, a northeast San Antonio Black landowner who played his violin and sang the blues for his family and neighbors. This is the first year the event will be an “official” Fiesta event.

There were over 200 songs recorded by Black Blues artists in San Antonio before the arrival of Robert Johnson. This year’s festival sees the return of The Keeshea Pratt Band and San Antonio local Eddie and the Allniters. New to the stage is the Musician with a Message, SaulPaul, Step Rideau, and the Zydeco Outlaws, and a special appearance by Southern Soul artist Latimore. The event is pet friendly. For more information, visit ( Ticket prices are $45 for general admission and $150 for VIP.

Black Life Texas – April 21st Edition

On April 30, the Alpha Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. celebrates its 20th anniversary of the “Praise Dance” event with the San Antonio community at the Carver Community Cultural Center at 226 N. Hackberry at 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

If you are still looking for more Fiesta fun, make sure to bring your money, colorful shirts and attire, and Fiesta medals to Fiesta’s iconic events, such as Night in Old San Antonio and the many parades: Battle of Flowers, Texas Cavaliers River Parade, and Fiesta Flambeau.

And just in case you are wondering why San Antonio parties every year in April, it’s because the Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836. Congressman James Luther Slayden’s wife, Mrs. James L. Slayden, was inspired by the flower parades of Spain and suggested that San Antonio stage its flower parade on April 21 in memory of the fallen “heroes” of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

The idea gained support, and the Battle of Flowers Association was born. The ladies first paraded their flower-covered carriages around the Shrine of Texas Liberty in April 1891. Thus began one of Fiesta’s most famous parades, the Battle of Flowers Parade, now the largest parade in the country to be managed entirely by women. The Battle of Flowers Parade started Fiesta San Antonio in 1891 and is the oldest event of Fiesta San Antonio, celebrating more than 130 years.

However, to rain on your parade, we can’t just regurgitate this history without revealing that both those battles were tied to racist ideas and slavery. But that’s for another story. To learn more about Fiesta events, 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