Festival kicks off black history month

The Black History Month Festival, held at the new post office on Adams Street, started the beginning of a month celebrating black life, culture and history.

The event began with mistress of ceremonies and event coordinator Cynthia Lee-King.

The kickoff, which dozens of surrounding Florida and Georgia residents attended, introduced individuals responsible for the production of the event and remaining festivities.

“This is not just about African-American history, it’s about American history,” Lee-King said.

James Harvey, manager and customer service person for the Leon County Post Office, laid the order of events for the ceremony.

He introduced several of the media partners for the month’s events. WCTV-6, the Tallahassee Democrat and Cumulus Broadcasting were among those in attendance. Each company had a chance to make remarks.

“The events and the celebration are important to the community,” Laura Black of WCTV said. “It is good to stop and learn about things you may not know about.”

Thomas Tomasi of the Tallahassee Democrat added comedy to the event.

“My four daughters and my wife would never let me have a chance to speak!” he said as the crowd burst into laughter. “It is, however, an honor to be part of such an great event, and we at the Democrat are privileged to be part of it.”

The event’s focus was to honor four organizations in the community for their outstanding efforts in the black community.

Those organizations were the Capital City Garden Club and its efforts in improving landscaping throughout the community, New Mount Zion AME Church for donating more than 1,000 books and backpacks to students, Tallahassee Community College for it constant community support and the United States Postal Service.

Priscilla Hawkins, the creator of the event, introduced the organizations and awarded plaques for their outstanding service.

“The purpose of the month and the events is to give participants a chance to honor the many achievements of blacks in our country through a small cluster of social and informative events that nearby counties can be a part of,” Hawkins said.

The honorees’ introduction was followed by the showcasing and unveiling of the 2007 Black Heritage Stamp, featuring famed singer Ella Fitzgerald.

The postage stamp commemorates the heritage of blacks and is a 30-year tradition of the United States Postal Service.Postmen from the surrounding areas in attendance were applauded and took pictures.

Following the unveiling of the stamp was a rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s famous song “At Last” sang by guest singer Soccorro.

The Black History Month Souvenir Journal, which offers a detailed description of the month of events including dates, times and locations, was also introduced.

Lee-King concluded the kickoff ceremony with closing remarks. “The purpose of these events is to give people a chance to fully engage themselves in the experience of African-American culture” Lee-King said.

Attendees then had the opportunity to stay and view special videos that highlighted the organizations honored.Celebration of black history will extend beyond the opening ceremony featuring an array of events. Events including an black read-in-chain, a parade, theatrical performances, black dollar days and workshops are just a few.

The festivities will be highlighted with famous appearances by the Harlem Globetrotters as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Participants will have chances to win prizes at the end of festivities.

The program directors urged all those available to participate in the month of events.

For more information regarding the festivities, please contact the administrators at blackhistorymonthfestival@hotmail.com.