Behind the New Look of Houston’s Oldest Park, a Complex Racial History
On a recent Saturday morning in Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood, about 120 people gathered for a prayer vigil and march at Emancipation Park. People wore gym shorts and T-shirts, dashikis and jeans as they lined up on the plaza where the park’s three main structures — a brand-new, gleaming recreation center, plus a remodeled community center and pool — face each other. A drum circle provided rhythm as Sister Mama Sonya, a prominent community activist and poet, laid out the morning’s program.
“Today we’re making a joyful noise,” Sonya said, “as we consecrate our Third Ward treasure.”