International Guardian – Houston, TX. It was Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Representative for Texas’s 18th congressional district who mounted a convertible sports car to lead as the Grand Marshal, the Nigerian Cultural Parade yesterday (September 27, 2019) at Houston’s downtown. Hon. Jackson Lee led a mile thread of other parade participants from various school organizations, businesses including various sponsors and cultural groups representing various organizations in Houston.
The night before this event (Friday, September 27, 2019), the City of Houston honored Nigeria’s Independence Day by illuminating both the City Hall and major Highway bridges “green-white-green”. This was the first time such an honor would be accorded to Nigeria by Houston–the fourth largest city in the United States.
October is officially Nigeria’s Independence month. This country, the most populous in Africa, gained independence from Great Britain in October 1, 1960. Celebrating Nigeria’s 59th Independence in a city – one of most diverse in the United States, stands to promote and advance the cultural, civic and social welfare of this community. Studies show that Nigerians are the single largest contemporary African immigrant group in the United States. In addition, the city of Houston is home to the highest population of Nigerians outside of the country. But the whole idea was not to Africanize the great City of Houston. Nope. Downtown Houston endorsed the parade platform as a city event – thus allowing the Nigerian community to showcase, share, as well as educate the population on the greatness of her art and culture. For those who did not visit last year’s parade, September 28th, 2019 will offer a greater perspective of this community.
The parade started at 10.30 AM and was preceded by other cultural events which lasted the whole day. Attendees had access to various vendor booths and enjoy special Nigerian cuisine by the title sponsor, Wazobia African Market, the Largest African Store in Texas.