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Black Life Texas

Scottie’s Journey – Part II



A Short Story About A Young Boy Learning A Lesson From His Ancestors Part Two By Frederick Williams

After closing the apartment door, Scottie jumped down the steps taking three at a time, until he got to the first floor of the apartment building. He then pushed open the door to the building and stepped out into the Texas morning sunshine. As he headed for the street, he ran into John Ambrose, the manager of the complex as well as one of the coaches at the local boys’ club where Scottie learned to play basketball. He had the utmost respect for his coach and mentor, John, who had been a great athlete at Sam Houston High School in San Antonio. Scottie thought of him as a surrogate father, a replacement for the one he’d never known.

“Hey, Uncle John,” Scottie shouted. “This is the big day.”

“Oh yeah, you find out your fate, don’t you?” John asked as he placed his arm around Scottie’s shoulder and walked next to him.

“It’s going to be on now, Uncle John. Me and my boys going to kick somebody’s butt in the conference.”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” John admonished. “Check the list first and then celebrate when you see your name there.”

“My name will be there,” Scottie said. “I tore them suckers up during tryouts.”

John removed his arm from around Scottie’s shoulder and stood there. “Just remember someone else makes that decision, and basketball isn’t everything in life. It’s just a game.”

“It was for you, Uncle John.”

“Yeah, but I never went pro and made sure I got a halfway decent education. Keep that in mind, young brother.” John gave Scottie a tight hug. “Remember ball isn’t everything. You have so many more things to accomplish in life. Don’t limit yourself.” He finished and headed back inside the building.

Scottie stood motionless as he watched Uncle John enter the manager’s office to the building. What if his name wasn’t on the list? His life would be over. Determined that he’d be reporting to practice that afternoon, he turned and started up Walters Street to catch the bus to school.

When the bus pulled up in front of Sam Houston High School, Scottie jumped from his seat. He pushed his way by several other students, bolted off the bus and headed for the gym.

“Hey, Scottie man,” a young brother walking out of the gym shouted to him.

“Not now,” Scottie shouted back. “I got to check out what’s happening.” He ran right by the brother and up the steps into the gym.

“But what I wanted to tell you was—”

Scottie slammed the door closed and didn’t hear what the brother tried to tell him. He ran down the hall to the gym and swung the locker room door open. He spotted a half-dozen boys standing around a window that had a paper taped to it. Scottie watched as a couple of the boys, who’d been pretty good in practice, slapped hands, did a high five and patted each other on the back. Suddenly they stopped celebrating as he approached them. He slowed down, as he got closer to the window. The other boys said nothing to him. It felt like a ton of gravel pulled at his heart and Scottie’s legs went weak as he looked at the 12 names of the players who’d made the junior varsity basketball team. He looked again and then a third time and a fourth time. Tears welled up in his eyes. His name was not on the list.

The young boy who had scored all over him in the tryouts said, “Sorry, dawg, but you can always try out next year.” He and the other two boys turned and walked away.

The day dragged on forever. It seemed like the entire freshman class offered their condolences to him. With each student that approached him, he slid further down in his chair and deeper into his state of depression. He was a failure, and now his life meant very little to him. How could he possibly tell his mother, Uncle John, and his younger brother that he didn’t make the team?

When the bell rang and his last class for the day was over, he hurried back down the stairs and stood outside the gym. He stared through the window and watched as the 12 players chosen for the team lined up and began shooting lay-ups. Again, his eyes filled with tears as he finally turned and walked away. He was in no hurry to go home, but at some point, he knew he would have to deliver his disappointing news to his family. He still had time to catch the last bus, so he rushed to the front of the school and climbed aboard. This would be the longest ride of his life.

Read Part One

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.

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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 (

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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 (

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