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Who's Who in Black Houston


Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. Renewable energy sources—wind and solar—are also growing economic bases in Houston.[74][75] The ship channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base. Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.[11]

The Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment.[76] Much of Houston's success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy man-made ship channel, the Port of Houston.[77] The port ranks first in the United States in international commerce, and is the tenth-largest port in the world.[12][78] Unlike most places, high oil and gasoline prices are beneficial for Houston's economy as many of its residents are employed in the energy industry.[79]

The Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown MSA's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 was $385 billion, larger than Austria's, Poland's or Saudi Arabia's GDP.[80]Only 21 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic pr

The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston-area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated.[83][84] This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the UH System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5 percent of graduates are still living and working in the region.[84]

In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the Category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine.[85] Foreign governments have established 92 consular offices in metropolitan Houston, the third highest in the nation.[86] Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here and 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations.[87] Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.[88]

In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best Cities of 2008 list which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs and quality of life.[89] The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine.[90] In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters,[91] ranked first for Forbes Best Cities for College Graduates,[92] and ranked first on Forbes list of Best Cities to Buy a Home.[93] In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.[94]

oduct exceeding Houston's regional gross area product. Mining, which in Houston consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas, accounts for 26.3% of Houston's GAP, up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity; followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.[81]

Additional Info

Vernita Harris

Sometimes in April, I think about Lee’s surrender to General Grant on April 9, 1865, and five days later, President Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865 and Jackie Robinson’s 1947 entry into major league baseball. Who among us will forget April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s senseless loss.

All played an integral part of our nation’s and African-American history and future. This year, as we celebrate 150 years of the Emancipation Proclamation dated January 1, 1863, reflection is crucial to knowing our history. Due to the unwavering sacrifices of those before us, we can build from those milestones and celebrate the current progress in our community through Who’s Who In Black Houston®.

There was a time when it was illegal to for us to read and now we publish books across the nation to display the absolute best that we have to offer. We need to connect the dots with our past, present and future. As I closeout my tenure as the Houston Publisher, “Connecting the Dots” will be my final avowal. We have a strong base in our city and just like our history; we must appreciate how it unites us.

We start with our churches; they have always been a solid foundation. We are surrounded by educational institutions that enhance our knowledge, readiness and preparation for the future. Our corporations and businesses provide economic growth and stability. Home to the largest medical center in the world, our physicians promote and aid in healthy lifestyles. The lawyers provide guidance to navigate through legal affairs. Policy for better living and equal access is driven through our politicians.

Our culture defines us as we celebrate through the arts. If we connect all of these dots, we have a complete representation of a progressive 176-year-old multicultural Mecca that we call home, Houston. Sometimes in April, I think how blissful I am to see the continuous advancement from 1776 – 2013, in our nation, state and city. Who’s Who In Black Houston® unveils in the month of April. I am proud to have published the fifth, sixth and seventh editions. However, with the help of James Harris, Dr. Annette Cluff and Omar Reid , I am most proud of the efforts to have shared the book and its contents with over 3,000 local children.

This book is still very relevant to our community; there are more stories to unearth and new accomplishments that can positively stimulate and impact our kid’s way of thinking toward their future endeavors. There simply isn’t a better tool documenting our current African-American history in this city.

Finally, this year’s book is dedicated to my seven siblings David Harris Jr.(deceased), Norma Moore, John D. Jones, Sherman L. Harris, Paul K. Harris, William D. Harris and Julia Harris-Busby. To my first coaches, critics, built in debate team and sounding boards, thank you for keeping me grounded and always being there every day of my life.

Vernita B. Harris

Associate Publisher


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