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Celebrating Our Own Black History set for Feb. 16

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The West End Neighborhood Watch Children and Youth Department is hosting Celebrating Our Own Black History on Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m. at the E.M. Henry Community Center.

This is the second year for the celebration to be held during Black History Month.

“We are trying to make it bigger and better than it was last year, making sure that we get as many Black History makers involved as possible,” organizer Francine Lewis said.

The event is open to everyone to attend, but seating is limited, so tickets are required.

The event will include dinner, honoree recognition and special songs, dances and other presentations. Each honoree will be announced and receive a medal and certificate.

Lewis said young people ages 6 to 21 will be serving those in attendance and providing the entertainment in honor of the community members or former community members being recognized.

“I am looking forward to getting the chance to work with other youth and other talents here in the county,” Lewis said.

Any young person who wants to participate can contact Lewis at ladyfaithful73@yahoo.com.

The night’s honorees will be selected through research of those who have contributed to Black History from Chilton County and those who have contributed to Black History in Chilton County.

“We will be recognizing individuals that trailblazed in education, politics, entrepreneurship, religion, military … and service workers,” Lewis said.

Lewis said there were a lot of interviews with individuals who knew the history in the different fields “to find out what these individuals have done to contribute to being the first, to trailblazing.”

Last year, Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed, “the first black mayor in Jemison … breaking the ground for other African Americans to break into politics” and Bobby Agee, the first African American to serve on the Chilton County Commission, were among those recognized.

Lewis said she hopes the event will highlight some individuals that community members may not know about.

“We are most interested in educating our young people and giving them the wings they need to go out there and trailblaze and make a mark on the world,” Lewis said.

She said she wants the young people in the community to be able to personally connect with those who have made a positive impact.

Tickets can be reserved by contacting Lewis or West End Neighborhood Watch at wenw35045@yahoo.com or on Facebook.

Lewis is also looking for information on people that would be good to feature in the future. She said she welcomes emails from those who would like to share information.