Texarkana has a long and interesting history. It’s not many cities that are divided into two separate states and still manage to carry on a mutual admiration and respect for one another. Well, except when high school football season rolls around. But that’s a whole other story.
Yes, Texarkana has been the home, whether born or raised, to many famous people like Scott Joplin, Molly Quinn or Ross Perot. Most of us know about them. Who you may not already know about are these five people listed below who also have called Texarkana home.
Let us know in the comment section at the end of this story if we have surprised you with any of these names. We hope we have.
1. David Crowder – Musician. “I was born half-Baptist (the East Texas, King James carrying, pipe organ, hymnal singing, Southern type Baptist) and half-Pentecostal (the Holy Ghost, jumpin’ and shoutin’, hand-waving, prophesying, Southern type Pentecostal). Later, I was born again,” Crowder says from his website.
“The son of an insurance salesman and a social worker, fructifying in the piney woods of Texarkana, I was as muddled as the name of my town,” he continues. “We drove a light blue Ford Thunderbird; not the old, classic kind, but a brand new one that had a sticker on it. The one with the electric windows and mirrors and the headlamp covers that flipped open when you turned on the headlights and an in-dash eight-track player. My dad and mom both used Aqua Net hair spray. He parted it on the right side and always carried a comb. She got permanents and had curlers that heated up every Saturday night while we all watched The Lawrence Welk Show and Hee-Haw. The eight-tracks in rotation were Elvis, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton John, and Bill Gaither. Everything I’ve ever done musically can be traced back to there — that Ford Thunderbird, those sounds, the view out of those windows, and my brother punching me in the arm on the way to Sunday morning Church. That is all metaphor and all true.”
2. Ociela Gibson – First Texas Winner of the Miss Black USA Pageant. An a overcomer of fatherlessness, self-hate and culture’s misperception of beauty, Ocielia Gibson is a passionate speaker, empowerment specialist and catalyst for redefining beauty in the lives of young adult women and girls. She is Founder of More Than a Pretty Face International, a company that fosters the social, personal, and spiritual beauty of today’s young women. As a keynote speaker and young women’s minister, Ocielia’s work has served thousands of women and girls across the US and Kenya. Receiving numerous awards for her empowerment initiatives with teen girls, she was the youngest woman recognized as an Unsung Hero for her programming in the state of Texas by EBONY Magazine.
As a certified etiquette coach, she has been named one of “Ten Most Influential Women in Etiquette” by the National Association of Urban Etiquette Professionals. She is a first-generation college graduate, having earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Texas Woman’s University, and is currently completing her graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In 2011, Ocielia became the first women from the state of Texas to be crowned Miss Black USA. As such, she utilized her platform to bring awareness to causes disproportionately affecting the African-American community, serving as Celebrity Advocate for The Heart Truth Campaign, as well as spokesperson for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. An unapologetic virgin, Ocielia is a presenter in the areas of celibacy and sexual health, and currently serves as a Spokesperson for National Black AIDS Awareness Day.
She has been featured in outlets such as Heart & Soul, EBONY, Black America Web and the True Love Project. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where she is on staff at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (Dr. Tony Evans, Pastor), and travels the country as conference speaker, trainer, and event host.
3. Joshua Logan – Writer/Director. Born in Texarkana, Joshua Logan’s family moved to Louisiana when he was three years old after his father committed suicide. After high school, he attended Princeton University where he met Jimmy Stewart and non-student, Henry Fonda.
After the end of WWII, Logan directed the Broadway productions of Annie Get Your Gun, John Loves Mary, Mister Roberts, South Pacific, and Fanny. With Thomas Heggen (author of the original novel), Logan shared the Tony Award in 1948 for writing Mr. Roberts.
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