In our series Our Movement Monday, we talk with Texans across our state about their work and the challenges facing their communities. Today, we speak with Carroll G. Robinson, who is the newly elected Chairman of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.
The Texas Coalition for Black Democrats is an organization that aims to get Black people elected & engaged in the Texas Democratic Party. They also acquaint voters and potential voters with party issues, values, and candidates.
Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. is Chairman of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats. He is a former At-Large Houston City Council Member who has served as General Counsel of the Texas Democratic Party and Chairman of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce. Robinson started in Texas politics as a precinct chair and election judge. He is a graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is a college professor who has taught at two Texas law schools. He is a past-President of the Houston Lawyers Association (HLA) and Texas Association of Black City Council Members.
You are our elected Chairman of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats. How did you first get involved with the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats? And why is it important to hold a leadership role in a civil rights organization such as Texas Coalition of Black Democrats?
I have been involved with the Texas a Coalition of Black Democrats (TCBD) since the late 1980s. It’s important for Black Democrats in Texas to participate in organizations such as TCBD so that we can continue to protect our civil and voting rights while also advancing our interests when it comes to issues such as equal justice under the law, equity in education and eliminating the racial and gender income and wealth gaps.
As the years have progressed, do you believe that your involvement with Texas Coalition of Black Democrats is still just as important?
Even though it’s 2020, there is still, unfortunately, far too much work to be done to protect the rights of Black people in our nation (and Texas) from eliminating the school to prison pipeline, comprehensive criminal justice reform, suspending black children from public schools because of their hairstyles to the homeownership gap and economic equity.
Membership, and active participation, in the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats remains a vital part of the building blocks for progress in Texas.
How has your race played a part in your politics?
The reality of racial inequality and inequity has been a driving motivator in my commitment to using politics to achieve social and economic justice in our nation. I want America — and Texas — to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence that we are all equal. I want a new reality that learns from our history but that is clear — Black Americans are entitled to all the rights and privileges of full citizenship in our nation and our state.
As we enter Black History Month, it’s important that we reflect on the trailblazers who fought and continue to fight for justice and equality. Where do you think we’re at in terms of progress for Black people?
As we celebrate Black History Month this year, we must all remember and acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices that have brought us this far along the way, but also recognize that we still have miles to go. We have made progress as a nation but we still have miles to go on our journey to a more perfect union.
What is the one thing that you wished people would have told you before getting involved in politics?
It’s been hard work and required sacrifices but it has all been worth it. Helping to make a positive difference in energizing and rewarding.
Why is it important that we never stop talking about the civil rights movement, and Black History Month in general?
If you don’t know where you came from and how you got to where you are, you won’t know how to get to where you need to be. You will keep making the same mistakes if you don’t remember your history and pass it on to the next generation. This is why we must remember and talk about our history.
Who inspires you?
My wife and my son inspire and motivate me now, but I also do what I do to help people like my parents. The people without boatloads of money who get up every day and work hard to take care of themselves, their family and give back to help their neighbors and community.
What is the one thing you want people to take away from Black History Month?
Remember and respect the past so we can do better in the present for ourselves and our children’s future.
How can folks get involved with the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats?