The Fifth Ward is one of Houston's historic nineteenth-century neighborhoods. It is generally associated with the city's African American community – the location of one of three historic black neighborhoods, the home of Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland, and the notorious “bloody Fifth,” a tough, but colorful inner-city ghetto. The Fifth Ward's residents were affluent, hard-working homeowners, and the ward has housed a variety of ethnic communities. In his lecture, Dr. Cary Wintz will guide us through this fascinating neighborhood, tracing the origin of the community in the mid-nineteenth century, its glory years in the first half of the twentieth century during the era of Jim Crow segregation, its post&endash;World War II decline, and its rebirth at the end of the century.
Cary Wintz, a Rice University graduate, holds a doctorate in history from Kansas State University. He joined Texas Southern University's History Department in 1982 and has been chair of this department since 1995. His recent research interests include blacks in Houston, Texas History, the Harlem Renaissance, and African American political thought.
THE REVEREND HARVEY CLEMMONS, MARSHALL TYNDALL, MARDIE OAKS, ERNEST MCMILLAN, BERT LONG, AND JESSE LOTT
Pastor Harvey Clemmons Jr., founder of the Pleasant Hill Community Development Corporation, will discuss the innovative programs focused on comprehensive community revitalization taking place in the Fifth Ward.
Joining Clemmons will be architect Mardie Oaks, Project Director of the Fifth Ward Redevelopment Corporation. Oaks was co-curator of “16 Houses: Owning a House in the City,” an exhibit of the designs for innovative, affordable houses by local and national architects shown at Diverse Works Artspace in 1998. Later in the morning we will visit six of these unique houses, in their final stages of construction.
Marshall Tyndall, Senior Program Director of Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), will describe the process by which non-profit Community Development Corporations are set up by neighborhood residents, assisted by LISC, a private initiative.
Ernest McMillan, executive director of the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, will reflect on his sixteen years of work with the Program, which was designed to ameliorate negative influences on men in the inner city. He will talk about his successes and plans for the future.
Bert Long and Jesse Lott, two of the ward's most prominent artists, will welcome participants to their studios as part of a self-guided tour of the neighborhood.
A no-host lunch at a neighborhood restaurant will offer an opportunity for informal conversation with other participants.