Be Careful What You Ask For…


Southwest / Texas 43 Views

            The Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church recently celebrated the 6th Pastoral Appreciation of Pastor Dayle E. and Lady Brenda Perry. This year’s theme expressed the signifigance of God’s Gift to the Church according to Ephesians 4:11.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

            Prior to the grande celebration, the members of Greater Zion honored their “gift” with a Banquet in the S.B. Parker Fellowship Hall located at 1620 Dollywright. Local pastors, ministers, members, political dignitaries and a great multitude of family and friends all gathered to pay homage to the honorees. Mrs. Renee Jefferson Smith served as the Mistress of Ceremony. The banquet opened with a Praise and Worship session led by Deacon Keith Brown.

            After Pastor and Lady Perry were escorted in and seated Patricia Broussard delivered the welcome and occasion. Musical selections were rendered by The Bedfords and Destined 4 Greatness performed a mime praise. Other representations and tributes were given by Rev. Carlos Jackson, Dr. Edwin Davis of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church and State Representative Jarvis Johnson (District 139). Sis Irma Collins also spoke on Pastor Perry as a “Brother”. As the banquet continued, the Mistress of Ceremony introduced the speaker of the evening, Mr. Roy Douglas Malonson.

            Upon taking the podium, Malonson immediately greeted attendees and said, “Go Tell It, We Got Work that Needs to Be Done.” He then, acknowledged Pastor and Lady Perry; thanked the membership of Greater Zion; recognized present clergymen and his wife, Shirley Ann Malonson. Malonson explained that he was using his opportunity to offer a message of empowerment while reflecting back on the African-American journey through American history in conjunction with the local community. In addition to expressing, “We Got Work That Needs to Be Done,” he repeatedly admonished, “Be Careful What You Ask For.” To perserve the potency of the delivered message, I have chosen to document the actual transcript of his address.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

            I’m going to use this opportunity if yall let me to go back and reflect a little bit. We need to be very, very careful of what we ask for. We want a lot of things and we ask for a lot of things but we really don’t know what we asking for and what it means and what it can do to us. When they first freed the slaves, Negroes in Texas didn’t even know they was free until two years later. But, you know, we got over that. Then we grew up and moved on and lived under Jim Crow law. Jim Crow law was, we wasn’t even a human being. Anybody that was Black was nothing.

            So, in the early 1900’s White landing company owned this land in Acreage Home. Yes, it was originally called, ‘Acreage Home’, I don’t care what yall call it now. But, they developed this land and they created the deed that it could only be sold to Colored people. It gave the Black folk a sense of ownership and they started moving to Acres Home in droves and building houses and they built a strong, strong community. We had everything in Acres Home. I bought all of my school clothes from Bill Department Store, I got my drugs from Dan’s Drug Store next to C n C store. We had restaurants out here and bowling alley’s, movie theaters, semi-pro football league and we had the Red Rose. Red Rose invented hot pants before hot pants came out. We had car hops and we lived in a gated community. There was two ways in and two ways out, that means gated. So you Negroes that left a gated community, you think you going to a gated community, you had a gated a community where you owned the land.

Going Through Changes

            Then, when I was growing up there was only two races. You were either Black or White. It wasn’t nothing in the middle, everybody that wasn’t Black was White. Well, in the 60’s integration came in… Awwww, we wanted it to come in. We really didn’t want it to come in…. We wanted separate but equal, we wanted to be respected. I remember at Carver, when Aldine got rid of the books after a few years, they shipped the books to Carver and it wasn’t no pages in them. But, we had teachers that told us, I don’t care what’s not in there, you find it and come back and give me that report – we had people that cared about us. But what integration did, it killed our schools. They wasn’t going to send them little White kids out here in Acres Home with you people. So they took your school down and bused your kids way to heck and back. Now what that meant to that little child??? All them rednecks waiting on the little Black kids. There was fights, disrespect and they was kicking like dogs and they couldn’t holler and run back home because they mama was away.

            So, you need to be careful what you ask for because the burden and impact is still affecting some of us today, of what we went through. But, we thought it was nice going to Aldine “White Folks” High School to learn how to fight. They didn’t have to learn how to fight, they knew how to fight. I had to fight all day long going to school and coming home being this complexion. Ain’t nothing a White man was called that I wasn’t, don’t y’all try it tonight.

The Death of the Black Community

            Then, in 1968, they passed the Fair Housing Act. Do you know what that meant? That meant Negroes could live anywhere they wanted to live. That was the knife, because what we did, we started moving out of this gated community. We started abandoning our land that we owned – acres of land to go buy a lot. That doesn’t compute to me – you own an acre, but, you go buy a lot. Does that make any sense? And you can run your cows and chicken out here and park your junk car out here. You can’t have two or three cars out there, and you better not paint your house the way you want it. So, what they did they said we got to enforce something before these Negroes move out here. We got to enforce the Homeowner’s Association where we can police these Negroes. Because they coming – we don’t want no bar b que pits in no garage. Y’all know what I’m talking about. What that did is started killing our community. It started killing Acres Home, the kids started moving away and the folks started losing the land they worked so hard for. So be careful what you ask for…

            So I jumped out there 30-years ago. I said, ‘I gotta try to do something to help this community, I got to get involved in the community.’ So, using my builder’s experience, I decided to take a developer’s approach. I asked, ‘What does a community need?’ Well, you need to look at the land, for one. But, nobody would listen to me. Rev. Davis was about the only that listened to me, he’s sitting right here in this room. Rev. Davis bought everything around his church – everything. He said, “Well they won’t sell to me next door, so I’ll buy around them and surround them.”

            Now, he owns from Wilburforce to West Montgomery. We MUST Understand, if you own the land, you can control the destiny. You can control what happened. Land is powerful. So, then we looked at the land and then we looked at safety, schools, housing and business. The first task was making Acres Home safe because everybody left. Drug dealers was on every corner and we understood why they was on every corner. Wasn’t nobody gon hire Pinky and Stinky to work. They out there with their brillant self selling dope. You had to be smart and intelligent to work them streets. Don’t no dummy work them streets – they were smart. But, they had to survive. So we couldn’t control that, so, we went to them and told them just respect us; go do it in the back corner somewhere.

Success, One of the Greatest Causes of Failure

            That kicked off the Acres Home War on Drugs. It got national attention, but, the folks came at me they didn’t like my style. Instead, they gave it all away to the White folks – The Houston Crackdown and the Texas War on Drugs. But, we got $12 million from President Bush, so we did something right. But, they gave it away, because leadership didn’t understand what was happening. So be careful what you ask for in leadership who don’t understand the opportunities they’re confronted with.

            The next thing we did was packed the schools, because that’s a drawing cost.  Since it’s three school districts out here, we went at HISD and created the first charter school in the United States, the Acres Home Coalition for School Improvement. But, we put leadership over it that didn’t understand and they got greedy and killed it. We was on the verge of having our first high school. M.C. Williams was our high school, but, the leadership killed it.

            Then we attacked the housing. We got it safe and we got good schools – that’s a magnet. But, first we went over to Aldine and we created the Aldine Montessori Magnet School and based it right here in Acres Home. The sad part about it Acres Home children had first priority to get in the school but, they moved out of the neighborhood. So guess who got first priority? Chico and Hernandez! Think I’m lying, go look and see. So, be careful what you ask for. Then you go over there and your kids getting kicked out and failing left and right and you got one of the best schools in the district right here.

            Then we formed the CDC. If you got a safe environment, good schools, people want to come, it’s an automatic magnet. So we got the Acres Home CDC, but the leadership again. They didn’t understand. Some of them were ego tripping over titles and such. President of this and that. Now, I didn’t want to be over nothing, I just wanted it to run right. So everything that was created, I didn’t want to be over it and I wasn’t over it. But what I learned from all of that is, “Success can be one of the greatest causes of failure.”

Be Careful What You Ask For

            Then the politicians come in and packed us, they gerrymandered us. Acres Home had a voice, we were in District A, District A couldn’t do nothing. It was 1/3 White and 1/3 Hispanic. District A couldn’t do nothing unless Acres Home called the shots. But, then they turned around and District B was Black. Listen to the words: gerrymandering, packing and diluting. Let me tell you what packing and diluting is. We already had power, we were already Black. So when they took Acres Home out of “A”, that’s called dilution. They killed that voice and when they put us in “B”, that’s called packing. We had a voice, they killed one voice and we only had one voice. So remember those words, don’t fall for the okie doke. The politicians and the leadership need to be held accountable. Be careful who you put over something. I can stand here and tell you from experience.

            They did something else to kill Acres Home – the leadership. They cut T.C. Jester through, they cut Victory through and they cut Tidwell through. That opened up our gated community. People had to go around, now they coming in saying, “Whewwww look at all these pines, acre lots and they stared chopping them and the demographic is changing like a layer of the land. It don’t look like Acres Home no more. History repeats itself. Mexico is taking back without shooting one shot. Because that’s what was out here before we came. So we got to be careful.

            Now, where we stand Black folks got five or six different races now. My Daddy was a Negro, I was Colored, my daughter became Black and when my daughter had children they became African-American and now that we are mixing we becoming: Other. But, White is just White. Look at your birth certificate if you think I’m joking. We got to get this stuff together. We on the verge of being wiped out. Because they got some new stuff now. They got a thing coming called Complete Communities. White folks and Mexicans all over this community because they calling it Complete Communties. When you want to take over the community you put somebody that look like the community over it. You want to do something to the Black folks, you put somebody Black over them. You want to do something to the Mexicans, you put a Mexican over them. This is serious, ain’t no Fourth Ward no more, it’s called MidTown, ain’t no First Ward is Scenic View; so, we about to loose it all.