Houston Newsmakers: Black History facts and the fight against politicization

Also: New hiring incentives for new HPD recruits; ‘Paradise Blue’ at the Ensemble Theatre

Black History Month (KPRC-Pixabay)


  • Host Khambrel Marshall sits down with Dr. Alexander Byrd, Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Rice University to talk Black History Month in a politicized world.
  • Houston Police Department is hiring new recruits. Are you in?
  • Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of “Paradise Blue,” now playing at the Ensemble Theatre

How much of the below historical facts should be taught in schools?


  • 1835 -- Cotton picked by enslaved labor made up 55% of U.S. exports
  • 1860 -- Enslaved U.S. labor produced more than 2 billion pounds of cotton
  • 12 U.S. Presidents owned enslaved people in 50 of America’s first 60 years.

One of the controversies regarding the history of Black Americans is about the contributions enslaved Blacks made toward the enrichment and prosperity of the United States.

On this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall, one guest is Dr. Alexander Byrd, the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rice University. He says History IS truth and even in this politicized environment truth will win out.

“Children will find a way to know the truth,” he said. “Teachers will find a way to help young people find the truth and the truth is powerful and draws people to it.”

Join the Newsmakers EXTRA segment this week with Dr. Byrd for more insight into the history of and challenges trying to teach the truth of Black History. Get more Black history information regarding slaves and their importance to U.S. cotton production here.

HPD offering cash to recruit cadets

The problems is a lack of manpower in the Houston Police Department. One solution to offer cash bonuses to attract applicants for the Houston Police Academy.

“We recognized that we have to offer a competitive salary and it was low,” said Commander Kristine Anthony-Miller, HPD recruitment. “So we went to the Mayor found some federal funds and offered this hiring incentive and so we’re really hoping that offers a competitive wage.

Find out more on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

‘Paradise Blue’ at the Ensemble Theatre

It’s called “Paradise Blue,” and is the latest production at the Ensemble Theatre. “This play has a little bit of everything,” said Curtis Von who plays the character of “Corn” in the production.

“It’s like a movie on stage. Our sound designer Adrian Washington did an incredible job with the underscore. I’m telling you you’re going to feel like you’re at a movie when you come see this stage play,” Von said.

Paradise Blue will be playing at the Ensemble Theatre until February 26th. (KPRC-Ensemble Theatre)

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Alexander Byrd, Ph.D. Rice University Vice Provost Diversity Equity & Inclusion

· Website: https://profiles.rice.edu/faculty/alexander-byrd

· Commander Kristine Anthony-Miller, HPD Recruitment Commander

· Website: https://www.hpdcareer.com/

· Website: https://www.hpdcareer.com/commanders_corner.html

· Lt. Daryl Henderson, HPD Recruiting Officer

· Website: https://www.hpdcareer.com/

· Eileen J. Morris, Artistic Director, The Ensemble Theatre

· Website: https://ensemblehouston.com/

· Curtis Von, “Corn” Paradise Blue Production

· Website: https://ensemblehouston.com/

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