The Black History Month Festival program provided a forum for honoree organizations to meet and greet the community.
Pricilla Hawkins, the programs coordinator, said the Black History Month’s festivities began with the Kick off Bash on Feb. 1 and ended with the Festival Finale on Feb. 28.
The Festival Finale was held at the Walker Ford Community Center from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and was intended to be a fun event for the local community, providing food, live entertainment and history.
Hawkins said the main purpose however, was to shed light on the various organizations making positive change within the African-American community.
The evening opened with a brief introduction highlighting each organization and their service capacities within the community, followed by performances.
Wearing black leotards and tribal printed skirts, a group of young girls from Excellence Dance Studio Inc., ranging from age three to six performed an African song and dance.
Giltrecia Head, the program advisor and artistic director said the main component of Excellence Dance Studio is teaching girls ages three to 17 dance.
However, she said there are many other segments within the organization, such as acting, poetry writing, music and modeling
The program also caters to adults, in providing them with free dance classes in salsa, praise and aerobics.
Head said the dance studio brings performing arts to the Tallahassee community.
Positive Generation Entertainment was among the honoree organizations as well.
This rap group duo grasped the audience’s with their high level of energy and inspirational lyrics.
“Our goal is to make the music industry more positive, and to get away from the whole cars, clothes, money perspective,” said Desmond Thomas, the co-founder of Positive Generation Entertainment.
Thomas said he and his childhood friend’s passion for music is what drove them to start the entertainment company just over a year ago.
“The company is made up of productions, singing, rapping and dance. We are mainly trying to reach out to the youth, and trying to get our message out there in order to help better the black community,” said Thomas.
While some organization performed, others came to share what they were about with the community.
Bobby Roberts, a member from the outreach council for Big Bend Hospice said when the organization first started back in 2000, it never occurred to them that they would be honored. He said while it is an honor to be recognized in this capacity, is more important that they be effective in the community.
“There are a number of services that the African-American community is unaware of, and that they could use in a time of need,” said Roberts. “Most people believe it’s only a place designed for people close to death, but it is much more than just that.”
Roberts said hospice provides aid in grief, suicide or any situation a person may be facing.
“We even have volunteers to go out and relieve people who may be taking care of a sick loved one, so that they can have some time to themselves,” said Roberts
Cheryl Matthews, a retired elementary school teacher said she enjoyed the event, and looks forward to coming back next year.
“There could have been more people to come out and support the cause, but next year hopefully the word can be spread more in bringing the community out,” said Matthews “I enjoyed all of the performances and look forward to coming back next year.”
Each honored organization was not-for-profit and provide free services and community functions year-round. For additional information contact: Priscilla Hawkins at 728-1204.