History comes alive in Galveston

A weekly column about Galveston Real Estate contributed to The Galveston Daily News

I love to tell people history comes alive in Galveston. We have a rich and diverse history of many American firsts. This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Juneteenth celebrations which are one of those many firsts. This celebration started here, and has become a important national event.

Galveston Juneteenth 2015 - 150 YearsFrom this week until June 27 there will be all sorts of different events and celebrations for everyone to enjoy — from parades and banquets to talks and lecturers and special church services. There are also family days, film screenings, picnics, the Miss Juneteenth pageant and family events. I’m proud to play my part as a Juneteenth sponsor and to do just a little bit to help commemorate this significant milestone.

When it comes to history, I’m always interested in how people shape the events of our nation and how they in turn are shaped by these events. People make history but they are also denied by their history.

This rings true for my friend and neighbor Izola Collins who has written the book “Island of Color” which is all about how Juneteenth started here in Galveston. She remembers her grandfather writing every night and recording his experiences and memories of life here after he retired from teaching.

She verified his notes against city records and interviewed many of his contemporaries for her book. Her grandfather and mother were also teachers, and we are lucky to have had three generations of her family contribute to the educational history of Galveston. Ms. Collins had an impressive career as a music teacher, GISD board of trustees member and president. She is very involved in her church and community and well-known to many for her service and commitment to making life better here on the Island.

Ms. Collins believes it is important for all Americans, not only African Americans, to know their history, how many firsts there have been in Galveston and how culture has developed there. She says it is important for all of us to know how things started. It is a good sentiment, and one that could be applied to not only Juneteenth but many of the other historic events that occurred here in Galveston.

There are so many fascinating people who lived here through many fascinating events and there is much pleasure to be had in finding out how they lived, how they shaped history and how history has shaped them.

On the island it is so easy to find out about our history as we have many organizations, institutions and groups that preserve and protect our heritage. We also have a lot of writers and artists here on the Island who add their own creativity to bringing parts of our history alive. With Juneteenth is in full swing, this could be a good month to find out for yourself how people have made history here in Galveston.

Call a Galveston Realtor to help you start your history in Galveston County. Ater all, those of us lucky enough to live by the sea are lucky enough.

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