The Lawrence-Gregory Community Center was filled with music, poetry and art celebrating the success of the Black community here in Tallahassee, as it hosted the 10th annual Black History Month Program Saturday. While also taking a moment to reflect on issues that plague the Black community nationwide, this year’s theme was “Success Stories.”
Several community leaders were honored for their contributions and accomplishments during the program’s red carpet moment. Some that were honored included Wash Anderson, Fred Flowers and Stephen Beasley.
Distinguished speakers included pharmacist and manager at Economy Drug Store Alexis Roberts McMillan, attorney Mutaqee Akbar and International Programs Scholarship recipient Isaiah Parfait. Each speaker shared their story and how the community allows them to be able to continue making history.
“I feel that at Economy Drug Store, everyday I am able to help people know how to help themselves. I’m here because of you, I'm here to be able to look forward to the next generation,” McMillan said.
Akbar he sees himself as a part of a community and does everything he can to better the community.
“I don't see me as an individual. I see me as a part of this community, and all of the things I am doing is to better this community. One of the things we have to do is stop sitting in our history, we gotta stop looking at these people and these places on the wall and seeing a something that can't be, and seeing it more so as who we are,” Akbar said.
FAMU Developmental Research School’s girls basketball team was also recognized for winning the state championship.
Lawrence-Gregory Community Center supervisor Gregory Grady expressed the importance of understanding black history.
“This program is about you, black history is a story talking about your greatness,” Grady said.
Grady also wanted the audience to understand that black history does not begin with the Slave Trade.
“Please understand, your history does not start with slavery. Please get rid of that fallacy, that's a terrible mistake,” Grady said.
There were also performances by CEO of Black on Black Rhyme Keith Rodgers, CEO of Positive Generation Lewis Thurston II, as well as youth from the community like the Jabez Mime Ministry and the F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. 4th Avenue Steppers.