Houston's greatest and most defining moments of 2020

BySteven Devadanam, Houston CultureMap CultureMap logo
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Thousands attended George Floyd march in downtown Houston
Thousands of people attended George Floyd march in downtown Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas -- This pandemic year has left many shaken, walking wounded with a profound sense of loss, despair, and grief. Factor in the broiling summer of racial tension after the George Floyd murder, plus the recent political polarization, and it all seems too much to bear.

But Houstonians are nothing if not resilient. To wit: We roll our eyes at tropical storms, smirk at hurricanes, and patiently endure floods. When crisis strikes - as it does - we hunker down, and step up to help our neighbors. This city teaches us to endure hardships, nuisances, and even disasters with grace, aplomb, and even humor.

With that in mind, we look back at the defining events for our fair city in 2020. The tragedy of this hellish year has had its day. Now, we present Houston's greatest moments.

The George Floyd march in downtown

When longtime Houstonian George Floyd died while in police custody in June, Houstonians responded not with violence, but with peace. Houston rap legend Bun B teamed up with rapper Trae the Truth to organize a massive downtown march in honor of Floyd.

"We want to recognize his humanity and try to make sure dignity is bestowed upon his name and legacy," Bun B told CultureMap, "...and we're going to show the world that Houston can lead the charge in making a change."

Indeed, Houston led the charge and set a global example. The march was notable in national news and media as there was no violence or arrest during the afternoon event.

Celebrities such as Joel Osteen and Deshaun Watson joined some 60,000 marchers for a dignified, but powerful demonstration. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo even knelt with protestors in a show of solidarity.

"The time for fear is over," summed up Trae the Truth. "We're standing for something."

That something, it turned out, was unity.

Houston restaurants reopen during the pandemic

Houston is a restaurant city - perhaps the greatest showcase of 21st century dining in the nation. The global pandemic and subsequent shutdown wreaked havoc on our local eateries and establishments, some of which closed permanently.

Thankfully, restaurants were given the green light to reopen on May 1 by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Quickly, diners at restaurants such as Coppa met plexiglas partitions, vacant valet stations, limited seating, touchless menus, and masked employees.

But, restaurants were back, and Houston was once again dining out.

For the rest of the list, visit our ABC13 partners at Houston CultureMap.