Friendships renewed at Victoria Black History Parade (Video)
By BY KELDY ORTIZ - KORTIZ@VICAD.COM
Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.
Harold Hill, 47, has been attending the Victoria Black History Steering Committee Parade and Festival since his kids were born. It's a place where he feels at home.
"I look forward to this because this is the only time I get to hang and see friends," he said. "I like supporting blacks and everything we do."
While the parade - now in its 26th year - celebrates Black History Month, others also saw it as a day to visit friends they haven't seen in a while.
In the crowded Victoria Community Center on Saturday afternoon, people were listening to gospel music and admiring pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama. Others were just happy being around each other.
Novella Hosey, 62, was relaxing and enjoying the comfort of being around friends. Sure, she could have called them, but she wanted to bring her children along so they can learn from people she grew up with.
"It's almost like a family reunion," she said. "I want my young children to know where they came from."
Her son, Tim Gibson, 19, was the lucky one to attend Saturday's event. Then again, he's been attending since he was 4 years old, his mother said.
Gibson said he attended because he knew some of his friends would attend, and he knew his mother's reason for bringing him.
"I'm here to learn more about black history," he said. "I just come out because I learn more."
Zaleiyah Clark, 2, hasn't learned much about black history. But her mother, Leathia Ellis, thinks differently. Ellis brought her daughter to the parade because it was her first one.
As for Ellis: "I haven't been in a long time," she said.
Harold's mother, Annie, 67, watched the crowd and was glad to see people of different ethnic backgrounds at the parade.
The former parade coordinator said she considered everyone, especially the young people, family. She hoped people came away understanding the event.
"I want (people here) to understand their cultural history," Hill said.