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The Houston Sun Foundation

 City Wide African American History Parade & Symposium

African American and the Arts

 The 9th annual City Wide African American History Parade & Symposium

The Houston Sun’s Annual African American History Parade and Symposium brings African American History to all in the 4 th largest city in the country. The story of Black History Month began in 1915 with Harvard – trained historian Carter G Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other people of African descent. 

Join us downtown February 17, 2024, in front of Minute Maid Stadium where this year’s theme is African American’ and the Arts.  The 2024 grand marshal is the formal principal dancer with the Houston Ballet Lauren Anderson. The parade starts at 10 AM.
Following the parade there is a Symposium chaired by the venerable Dr. Alvia J. Wardlaw of Texas Southern University. The Symposium will be held at Texas Southern University (TSU) along a with the Essay and Art Contest.
The Houston Sun Foundation is inviting the public to enter the parade and participate as a diverse audience who will enjoy and learn from the public cultural experience.


Lauren Anderson

Grand Marshall

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Native Houstonian, Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim audience, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. 

She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 as a Corps de Ballet and in 1990 became the first Black principal dancer at Houston Ballet. She is also one of the few Black ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world.

In January 2007, Ms. Anderson transitioned into Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement department, where she conducts free dance programming for Houston area schools, and lectures to students on her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas.

In the spring of 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture awarded her with a permanent exhibit. In fall of 2021 was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Most recently, a production chronicling her life, Plumshuga, premiered at Stages Theater.

The Symposium

Dr. Alva Wardlaw 

Honorary Chair

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Alvia J. Wardlaw (born November 5, 1947) is an American art scholar, and one of the country's top experts on African- American art.  She is Curator and Director of the University Museum at Texas Southern University, an institution central to the development of art by African Americans in Houston. She also is a professor of Art History at Texas Southern University. Wardlaw is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and co-founded the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support groups in 1998. Wardlaw was University of Texas at Austin's first African- American PhD in Art History.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

@Mickey Lealand Scholl of Public Affairs 

Texas Southern University. 3100 Cleburne



The Symposium allows individuals in the Performing & Cultural Arts, African American Health, and Wellness in a panel session. During the Symposium school children will present their Essays and Art. Winners will be presented with prizes and Parade Award Entries will be presented awards in the following categories. Marching and Walking Units, Marching Bands, Bicycles Groups, Community Service, Cheerleaders, Drill Teams, Classic Cars, Trucks, Floats, Animals, Clown, and Theme.

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