Sam Houston State student eyes past as he works to shape state's future

Bryce Lacy
Bryce Lacy (Bryce Lacy)

HOUSTON – Bryce Lacy has one foot planted firmly in the past and one in the future. 

The Sam Houston State University political science student is one of KPRC’s honorees for Black History Month. 

Lacy, 21, was nominated by his friend and fellow political campaigning colleague, Katherine Fischer. 

“He is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I have ever met,” Fischer wrote. “He thinks deeply about the problems that face this city, state and country, and how he can be a part of fixing them and helping people. … Bryce seeks to speak truth to power in everything that he does. He is incredibly patient in this pursuit and never gives up on believing that America can be better. … I am honored to call him my friend now, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the future. He is an amazing young activist, student and friend.”

Hearing the nomination entry for the first time, Lacy turned shy in his recent conversation with KPRC. 

“I don’t talk about myself a lot, so it’s kind of embarrassing a little bit,” Lacy said. “I really appreciate people having that opinion of me. I’ve never been a big person for the spotlight.”

Most recently, Lacy campaigned for Beto O’Rourke, leaving school for a semester to do full-time political work for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Texas. 

"He was down in the trenches, knocking on hundreds of doors in 100-degree heat, working 100-plus-hour weeks, and teaching other young people how to organize their communities," Fischer wrote. 

In addition to his activism, Lacy is documenting the African-American experience through a Sam Houston State University project which aims to tell the horrors of Texas’ lynching history. Working with his professor Jeffrey L. Littlejohn, Lacy has spent nearly a year tracking down and documenting lynching events in Texas from 1882-1945. 

Lacy explained to KPRC that the project is working to back up anecdotal evidence with newspaper reports from the era. 

“We just want to tell the stories of everything that happened here in the state,” Lacy said. 

Lacy said, in newspapers, the lynchings are “pretty horribly” documented in newspapers, appearing like a “bunch of ads” – in a section saying this or that many people were lynched this week or this month.

“Just the sheer amount of lynchings is astonishing,” Lacy said.

He added that the public deaths of African-Americans were considered a kind of carnival for people who attended, with popcorn and lemonade. 

“It’s hard sometimes to continue reading,” he said. “When it’s hard, (you know that’s) the reason that you’re doing it -- so people know this is a thing in our history.”

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