Twenty men will be honored for their contributions to the community in Lee Hall on Friday as part of FAMU’s Black History Month celebration.
The program, which is a partnership between Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida A&M University and 100 Black Men of Florida, is themed “Real Fathers, Real Sons, Real Men: Continuing the Dream.”
“I believe [this celebration] will inspire young African-Americans and all of us to see what previous generations have accomplished and give them hope,” said DCF Press Secretary Pat Smith, who will host the program at 10 a.m.
State Sen. Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville) will deliver the keynote address.
DCF plans to honor African-American men in social services, education, media and government who are thriving to make a difference in Northwest Florida and throughout the state, said Smith.
“We also want to recognize and thank individuals for their everyday involvement and what they do to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens in our communities,” said Smith. “These are individuals who might not have otherwise been recognized.”
The celebration will highlight the work these men have done in the community. Some of the honorees will include President James H. Ammons, Sen. Alfred “Al” Lawson, Jr., (D-Tallahassee), Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry, J.R. Richards, Myron Rolle, Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum and Maximo Martinez from the Department of Corrections.
Jimarcus Vickers, 23, a fifth-year economics student from Tallahassee, said it’s important to give credit to men who have done well in the community.
“I think it’s good to recognize people for what they do,” Vickers said. “It’s a good way to let them know we appreciate the positive things they’re doing.”
Smith added that every year the event generates excitement and brings them closer together as a community.
For Keontra Campbell, 21, a fourth-year history education student from Pensacola, a real man is defined as someone who takes care of his home and community.
Campbell pointed out that he does not think it’s necessarily important to honor them because it’s something that needs to be done.
“It’s something that God requires of us,” Campbell said. “We need to be leaders.”
For the past two years, DCF has also celebrated women’s achievements. The theme for the previous two years was, “Women of Excellence celebrating the Dream.”
The event is free and open to the general public.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the FAMU Black Archives Research Center after the celebration.
For more information, contact Pat Smith, DCF press secretary, at 850-413-0775.