Juneteenth celebration in Mexico, critical race theory discussion, accessible healthcare, and more on Houston Newsmakers

Keith Garvin, KPRC2 Anchor (KPRC)


  • KPRC 2′s Keith Garvin tells us about a group of Mexican people who have celebrated Juneteenth for several years.
  • Khambrel Marshall talks about critical race theory with the Director of Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown.
  • Harris County Public Health leaders share resources so more people can access healthcare.

Watch Houston Newsmakers at 10 a.m. on KPRC 2 and KPRC 2+.

Keith Garvin explores generations of Mexicans who have celebrated Juneteenth from its inception

The story of the “Negros Mascogos” of Mexico is unique in many ways, starting with how American slaves were integrated within the Seminole tribe before ending up in Oklahoma, then Texas, and then Mexico. KPRC 2′s Keith Garvin talks about how that happened and why that tight knit community has been celebrating Juneteenth from the start.

“They heard about it and started celebrating as an act of solidarity,” Garvin said. “But, also relief as well because they said ‘hey, as long as we know slaves are free in Texas. We are no longer under threat of being taken back ourselves,’ and that’s when the party began.”

Don’t miss this unique story of the Mexican Juneteenth celebration.

Sign in Mexico pointing to the area where the "Black Seminoles" live. Theirs is a story of slaves and Seminoles seeking freedom in the 1800s. (KPRC)

Race in the United States: Why expert says America was never intended to be equal

Experts discuss critical race theory.

The topic of critical race theory has become a flashpoint for some politicians and people in the United States, who view it as something that is inappropriate curriculum for young students. The truth is that critical race theory is only a college level course and not taught in elementary, middle or high schools.

Vida Robertson is the Director of Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown and says “when we don’t want to embrace a clear critical analysis of the way that race is being utilized as a tool for organizing our society, then we now forego the opportunity to become the America that we have written about in our constitution.”

He has definite opinions about how early students should begin learning some of the ugly truths about slavery and the treatment of Black people in the United States. Robertson said a lot of what we have learned up to now has been a sanitized version of our history.

“While our founding fathers were writing the documents, they made sure the founding mothers were nowhere near it,” he said. “While our founding fathers were writing the document, they made sure that the enslaved people who built the building would not be enshrined in that document.”

Robertson provides facts and more on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and on this week’s Houston Newsmakers EXTRA.

Access Harris County focuses on partnerships for better healthcare

Barbie Robinson, the Harris County Public Health Executive Director, came to Harris County with a vision for making health care more accessible.

“We knew we needed to get to vulnerable populations and underserved communities,” she said. “We established a blueprint in terms of our community engagement and how we engage with organizations that reach populations that historically have not had access to services.”

One of those populations is pregnant women of color.

“Black moms die at a rate three times higher than their White counterparts and Black infants die at a rate that is 2.3 times that of their White counterpart,” Robinson said. “We are in a national crisis. Harris County has the highest Black infant and Black maternal mortality in the state.”

Robinson talks about how the Access Harris County health website works and how millions may benefit from it.

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Keith Garvin, KPRC2 Anchor

· Website: https://www.athletesinactingawards.com/

· Vida Robertson, Ph.D. Director, Critical Race Studies, UH-Downtown

· Website: https://www.uhd.edu/academics/humanities/undergraduate-programs/bahumanities/Pages/bios-robertsonv.aspx

· Barbie Robinson, MPP, JD, Executive Director, Harris County Public Health

· Website: https://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/About/Organization-Offices/ACCESS-Harris-County

· Website: https://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/about/leadership

About the Author:

Journalist, meteorologist, community leader and volunteer.