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San Antonio city Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez paving the path in Texas for Black history month

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-12 19:47:09-05

For Black history month, we want to celebrate and highlight stories here in the coastal bend but also in the state of Texas. Corderro McMurry spoke with San Antonio’s City Councilman District 2, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez about the importance of this month.

“What was shocking to me was that I was the first openly gay Black man elected to any seat in Texas," said Councilman McKee-Rodriguez.

Councilman McKee-Rodriguez said being the first openly gay Black man for city council is exciting because he is the first to be given a chance.

“And well to have the first it removes barriers for the second the third, and the rest to get through the door," said McKee-Rodriguez.

After working with non profits he learned less than 1% of educators are Black men, sparking his interests in becoming an educator and eventually running for city council. McKee-Rodriguez said he has never had a Black teacher.

“I wanted to be in a community you know that kids looked liked me and you know that is the East side of San Antonio which is now the district, the part of town I represent," said McKee-Rodriguez.

Councilman McKee-Rodriguez’s created a program with Alamo City Studios called the East side youth content creators program for San Antonio high school students which begins this summer.

The program is lead by industry professionals who will teach students about film festivals, showcases and creating their own content.

“And they’re going to learn script writing, they’re going to learn editing, they’re going to learn cinematagrophy, acting and they’re actually going to be able to create whatever content they are wanting," said Kerry Valderama CEO of Alamo City studios.

“I have a passion for arts so I want to try and see what I kind of opportunities we can create for our students to become artists," said McKee-Rodriguez.

Councilman Mckee-Rodriguez said Black history month is critical as he is learning everyday and is surprised by how much he does not know.

“And it's because our history books don’t teach Black history in its fullest context. So Black history month is a time to celebrate blackness in its fullest and all of its form and to develop our knowledge," said McKee-Rodriguez.