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Black History Month Celebrated at Calhoun County Democratic HQ


Listen as Jason Wright sings 'Lift Every Voice,' the Black National Anthem....





Bettye Presley (left) introduces our special guest speaker, Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory (below) and Mayor McCrory begins with a few words of song....





Calhoun County Democratic Committee Vice-Chair Vernon Presley presided over the February meeting, which highlighted 'Black History Month.' Mr. Presley talked about the need for all of us to visit each other's homes and get to know each other on a more personal level - everyone agreed. Let's make that happen!


He also stressed the importance of voting - especially in this upcoming Presidential election. Talk to your family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers - be sure they are registered to vote and be sure they check their registration to see if all the information is correct. MANY voters polling places changed this year. Check your status and your polling place at https://myinfo.alabamavotes.gov/voterview

Vice Chair Presley encouraged us to help set up and man voter registration efforts in the community. CalCoDems can help with materials - if you decide to set up a voter registration table. Emphasis and attention should be placed on encouraging YOUNG people to register and vote. Many feel disenfranchised and don't bother.

Guest Speaker Mayor McCrory gave a poignant talk about where we are, how we got here and what some of the things are that we must do to have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of our neighbors. Her talk was entertaining, educational, painful and uplifting - all at the same time! She was an engaging and knowledgeable speaker and I'd suggest anyone looking to learn more about Hobson City, it's history, and plans for the future - reach out to her to speak to your group. ONE THING FOR SURE - visit the Hobson City Museum at 806 Martin Luther King Dr, Anniston, AL 36201. The new Hobson City Museum for the Study of African American History and Culture held its grand opening during the 124th Founders’ Day Festival, which took place August 13-19, 2023.

Did you know? Calhoun County has three candidates running for School Board and all were present at the meeting. They are Nick Ogle, Manuela Burton and Robin Caler. Nick and Manuela spoke briefly. With the record-breaking number of attempts to ban books, some here in Alabama - we need Democrats at the table where policy is made and a student's education is affected. Local offices are where it all begins!

HQ was filled to near capacity - which was amazing! Folks came out to see the program that Vice Chair Presley had put together - to hear Jason sing and see what Mayor McCrory had to say. The pitch in dinner was great as always! We love it when you bring something to share with others. We hope everyone comes back. CalCoDems meet the 3rd Thursday of each month at 6 pm, HQ, 812 Noble Street. Keep up with events and news on our FB page and website - be sure we have your email address.

HQ is currently open on Wednesdays from 10 am til 4 pm. Stop in and say 'hello.' Volunteer to write postcards to crucial elections around the country. Statistics prove that writing postcards to voters - DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! As the election gets closer, we will extend the days and hours and hope YOU join US in working to get Democrats elected across the country, and especially in the White House.

A little 'history'....

Black History Month, which is celebrated each year during February, is a chance for Americans to learn details of their nation’s history that, unfortunately, are far too often neglected and pushed to the wayside. As the saying goes, Black history is American history — and it’s a varied and rich history. A wise nation honors and learns from its past. It refuses to let the most important facts about our shared and collective memory disappear into the depths of forgotten history. What happened in the past shapes and informs where we are heading in the future, and it’s of paramount importance to set aside a month for learning as much as we can about Black history.


Black History Month wouldn’t have been possible without Negro History Week’s creation in the United States in 1926. Famous historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History proclaimed the second week of February to be observed as Negro History Week. Since the inception of this event, the main focus was to encourage the teaching of the history of Black Americans in educational institutes, particularly at the primary level. The departments of education of Delaware, North Carolina, and West Virginia were very cooperative. The overall reception was lukewarm, but Woodson considered it a success and “one of the most fortunate steps ever taken by the Association.”


In February 1969, the idea for Black History Month was promoted by Black students and educators at Kent State University, followed by the first celebration of Black History Month on campus and local surroundings one year later. Fast forward six years and Black History Month was widely being celebrated across the country, and not only in schools, colleges, and community centers. In 1976, President Gerald Ford praised Black History Month, urging all citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”


Education is a core theme of this holiday and providing Black students with access to education is a huge movement in the country. One way that many organizations do this is by providing scholarships. For students looking for funding, Schoalroo has a great database of scholarships for Black students. The creation of Black History Month also led to some controversy. Celebrating Black history for one month seemed too confining, with many labeling it downright inappropriate. Another concern was that Black History Month would glamorize the delicate subject and lead to Black historical figures being simplified as heroes. 


WAYS TO OBSERVE BLACK HISTORY MONTH:

Visit a museum

The Legacy Museum in Montgomery: The Legacy Museum offers a powerful, immersive journey through America’s history of racial injustice.History comes alive in a nation's museums, and many of these institutions have events, conferences, and celebrations surrounding Black History Month. Get out there and see first-hand the American nation's collective historical treasures. https://legacysites.eji.org/about/museum/


Contact an elected official

One of the best ways to get the ball rolling toward a better society is by contacting members of Congress. Ask them what they have planned for Black History Month and what specific legislative actions they plan to take to ensure that your community never backtracks in its pledge to provide opportunities for each and every person.


Read, read, and read some more

Libraries and bookstores — not to mention online repositories and booksellers — are positively overflowing with amazing works of Black literature, history, and biography. Find a book about a piece of Black history that you were previously unaware of and get educated



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