For Black History Month, I decided to highlight something I thought was a pretty cool piece of history right here in Killeen, Texas.

While scrolling on Instagram the other day, I saw that DJ HELLA YELLA posted that his dad, Leon O'Neal II, was the first African American to receive a scholarship from the University of Texas back in 1968.

 

So I got in touch with Hella Yella, who connected me with his dad, who was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time.

 

I was excited to hear old stories from "back in the day"

 

Jim Crow Laws

 

While talking to Mr. O' Neal, he spoke on Jim Crow Laws in the 60s (something not taught in schools in Texas), and how it was slightly different for him in the Killeen area.

He explained that being in a military family, the experience of racial discrimination was different for him because there were black soldiers stationed at Fort Hood.

 

Battling Racism

 

Being the first African American to receive a scholarship at the University of Texas came with much opposition. Back in 2015, O'Neal told Monique Brand of The Killeen Daily Herald that just 10 years before he was admitted to the University, black people weren't even permitted on campus.

“I got there when the dorms were just being integrated", he said. "Out of 200 people living in the dorms, there were only a handful of us blacks living on campus. Whites in dorms didn’t befriend us. We only had each other.”

Tragedy Strikes, Fatherhood Ramps Up

 

According to the Instagram video, O'Neal's football days were over when his wife, who had just given birth to his son, died five days later. That left him to raise his then 3-year-old daughter and his newborn son.

Listen to My Interview with Leon O'Neal II

Thanks again to Mr. O'Neal for giving me a few minutes of his time. Here's our quick conversation:

 

 

 

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Here is Leon with former NFL Linebacker and University Of Texas Alum Brian Orakpo, who played for both the Tennesee Titans and The Washington Commanders.

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Here he is with former NFL running back Ricky Williams, who played for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, and the Baltimore Ravens, along with his son, DJ Hella Yella (Leon O'Neal III).

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Mr. O'Neal and Ricky Williams

 

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  Father Leon O'Neal and son DJ Hella Yella

 

5 Sweet Bakeries To Check Out In Killeen, Texas

We all get a sweet tooth every now and then right?

But what do we do when it happens?

Do you go to the kitchen and bake a cake? Maybe hook up some cupcakes?
Cookies? perhaps?

Or do you visit the grocery store or your favorite bakery?

If your choice is to visit your favorite bakery I got a few bakeries that caught my eye that you may want to check out here in the Killeen area, if there's one or two we didn't mention that you go to, by all means, let us know!

In the meantime check out these 5 bakeries in Killeen:

Pictures From The Great Winter Texas Snowstorm of 2021

Where were you when Winter Storm Uri hit Texas the week of February 14th and 15th 2021?

The country was already dealing with the COVID crisis and then came another one.

According to weather.com, the storm produced damaging ice from the Northwest.
Texas Cities like Abilene and San Angelo had record snowfall. Beating records that were made back in the late 1800s.

In Austin a record 6.4 inches of snow was recorded at Austin - Bergstrom Airport, their heaviest snow in 72 years, since Jan. 30, 1949.

San Antonio had almost 3 inches of snow bringing them their heaviest snowfall since 1985, those nice people art Seaworld also saw 6 inches of snowfall.

Locally here in the Killeen- Temple area, streets, schools, and businesses were shut down and there were massive power outages. Not to mention a certain electric company going out of business due to the rates of customers skyrocketing!

It was a disaster!

But here we are a year later, we now have stories we can tell our grandkids about how the effects of Winer Storm Uri of 2021 had us all in a frenzy.

Here are some pictures that showcase the good and bad of the great Texas Snowstorm of 2021.

7 Seafood Restaurants in Killeen and Harker Heights You Need To Check Out

You don't have to travel to the coast to find great seafood. There are plenty of places right here in Central Texas that serve it up fresh and serve it up right. These are just a handful of our favorites. Did yours make the list? If not, let us know what we should try next!