Albert "Al" Edwards (born March 19, 1937) is a former member of the Texas Legislature representing District 146. As a senior member of the State Legislature, Al Edwards served on three of the most influential Committees. He was the Chairman of the Rules and Resolutions Committee, Chairman of Budget and Oversight of the Ways and Means Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee.
Al Edwards is a native Houstonian. He is the sixth child out of the sixteen children born into the union of Reverend E. L. Edwards, Sr. and Josephine Radford Edwards.
He is a graduate of Phyllis Wheatley High School. He received a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas in 1966, a Certificate in Corrective Therapy at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He became a realtor and mortgage broker.
He was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, where he participated in peaceful marches and demonstrations throughout the United States of America with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Jesse Jackson, Mr. Carl Stocks, Reverend William (Bill) Lawson, and others.
He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
He is a thirteen-term elected member of the Texas House of Representative and has been serving in that capacity since 1978. In 1979, he authored and sponsored House Bill 1016, making June 19 ("Juneteenth") a state paid holiday in Texas. He founded Juneteenth, U.S.A., in 1979 along with Al Edwards Real Estate and Mortgage Company.
He was inducted into "Who's Who in America " in 1989 and "Who's Who of Global Decision Makers" in 2006. In 1983, he received an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Belize.
He served as a member of the board of Push International Trade Bureau of Chicago, Illinois from 1983 to 1989. Al Edwards served as the State Chairman for Reverend Jesse Jackson's campaign for President of the United States in both 1984 and 1988. In 1986, he founded "Operation Justus ", a community-based organization that serves as a referral service for persons with social problems and concerns. In 1987, he was arrested in Houston and went to jail for peacefully demonstrating against apartheid in South Africa. Others demonstrating on the national level included Reverend Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte along with many others. In 1989, he traveled to Mozambique, Johannesburg, and Angola, South Africa on a peace-seeking mission.
Representative Edwards served as Chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus from 1991 to 1997. Al Edwards was called to ministry in April 1993. Revered Al Edwards is a member of Progressive New Hope Church.
During the Clinton administration,Al Edwards was often invited to the White House as the guest of President Bill and Hillary Clinton. In May 1994, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the African American Biographic Association in Atlanta, Georgia . Al Edwards was elected Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus and held that position for six years. He was Vice-Chairman for ten years.
Reverend Edwards received his Doctorate of Divinity from World Bible Christian University in San Antonio In 1999, Al Edwards was appointed Chairman of Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission by Governor George Bush. While serving in the legislature, he has had the distinct honor of serving with Governor George Bush, who would later become the President of the United States of America.
While serving in the legislature, he had the distinct honor of serving with State Representative Rick Perry, who would later become the Governor of Texas.
On January 15, 2004, Al Edwards helped to lead a successful march of over 5000 people in Waller County in order for the students of Prairie View A & M University to be able to vote. As a senior member of the State Legislature, Al Edwards served on three of the most influential Committees. He was the Chairman of the Rules and Resolutions Committee, Chairman of Budget and Oversight of the Ways and Means Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee.
Edwards graduated from Wheatley High School in Houston. Edwards is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.