Black History Month: Third Ward, Houston's most diverse Black neighborhood

Black History Month: Third Ward, Houston's most diverse Black neighborhood

BE Connect Groups and Latinxs Connect ask you to Embrace Black Culture during Black History Month.

During this Black History Month, BE Connect and Latinxs Connect Groups will focus on both People and Community. There are many Black historical locations that may be within a couple of miles of where you live.

Throughout the month, several Albemarle employees will be sharing the history of some of those areas and what it means to them.

We would like for you to also participate this month and Embrace Black Culture actively. We urge everyone to visit some of those locations.

BE Connect Groups and Lantixs Connect ask you to Embrace Black Culture during Black History Month. During this month, BE Connect and Latinx Connect will focus on both People and Community. There are many black historical locations that may be within a couple of miles of where you live. Our employee's will be sharing the history of some of those areas and what it means to them.

We would like for you to participate this month and Embrace Black Culture actively. We urge everyone to visit some of those locations and provide us with your comments, pictures, and selfies.


Historic Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
Albemarle Employees at Historic Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

Some places are just booming with history. Third Ward in Houston is one of those places. Located inside the 610 Loop, just to the southeast of Downtown, it is said to be "the city's most diverse black neighborhood and a microcosm of the larger Black Houston community." The neighborhood has also groomed many past and present Black leaders and artists.

When you start your walk through Third Ward, a community staple is The Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church (WABC) and the great founding Pastor, Reverend Bill Lawson. Rev Lawson was influential in integrating Houston. "Three years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream speech, Reverend Lawson secretly met with city leaders at the Rice Hotel. When all was said and done, "White Only" signs came down across Houston, department stores welcomed Black customers without hassle, and hotels, restaurants, and restrooms were no longer sectioned by race," wrote ABC's Eyewitness News Reporters Melanie Lawson and Chauncy Glover.

Many of our Albemarle employees are either parishioners at Wheeler or affiliated with one of the community programs supported through WABC.

Analytical Chemistry Technician at Albemarle's Bayport Catalyst Division Jentoria Wade is a member of WABC. "I love Wheeler and what they do for the community! The young adult ministry has been so beneficial to my growth in Christ and Houston," Wade said.

Supervisor Quality Control at Albemarle's Bayport Catalyst Division Adondria Parker has been a Brownie Girl Scout leader with Troop 1993 at WABC for 17 years. WABC Girl Scouts has provided opportunities for young girls in the Third Ward community. The program builds girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place. WABC made it possible for our girl scouts to visit Washington DC for the 100th year of Girl Scouts. They also sponsored a historic voyage to Savannah, G.A., where they visited the First African Baptist Church and Tybee Island, both landmarks of Black History in America.

Historic Jack Yates High School
Historic Jack Yates High School

Third Ward is also home to Jack Yates High School. Established in 1926 as Yates Colored High School and named after Reverend John Henry "Jack" Yates, a former slave, and minister, the school started with 17 teachers and 600 students. Many famous entrepreneurs, artists, sports figures, and community leaders walked Jack Yates High's halls. Prestigious alumni include:

  • Actresses Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen
  • The late Dr. John B. Coleman
  • The late Houston City Councilman, Judson Robinson
  • Former Houston City Attorney, Anthony Hall
  • Journalist Roland Martin
  • National recording artist Johnny Nash
  • Former President of Bennett College, Dr. Gloria R. Scott
  • Athletes such as Santana Dotson, Dexter Manley, Johnny Bailey, Elvis Patterson, Reggie Phillips, Rickey Winslow, Michael Young, Joseph Young, Damyean Dotson
  • Renowned jazz saxophonist Conrad O. Johnson
  • State Representative Garnet Coleman

George Floyd was another beloved graduate of Yates.A park near the High School was dedicated in his honor. In this park, the hope is that you can find peace through the comforting words of Mother Theresa's prayers.

Fabian White, Jr. reached 1000 career points
Fabian White Jr. makes history in the 2022 NCAA tournament

Third Ward is where Texas Southern University, a Historic Black College and University, and the University of Houston are located. At the U of H, the son of Albemarle's Fabian White, Sr., General Supervisor II, Bayport Catalyst Division, is making history during Black History Month. Fabian White, Jr. reached 1000 career points as a Cougar and led the team to be a force in the 2022 NCAA tournament.

There is much to see and experience in Third Ward. This history stays alive because of its residents. Our Albemarle Houston employees hope you check out the historical sites, learn and actively embrace Black culture not only during Black History Month but year-round.