Southside community center end Black history month by celebrating the past, present and future

Courtesy of Kiaira Nixon

Walker Ford community center held its 23rd annual Black History program titled Excited About our Future…  Celebrating the Past and Present.

The event was heavily supported by Tallahassee’s  Southside community.

The ceremony featured singing, dancing and monologues that honored historical African-American trailblazers.

Interim Supervisor Aeshah McQueen-Jefferson expressed that this program is needed for African- American children.

“I feel like this is a great event to hold because it teaches our children our history and tell them that they can accomplish great things by being more innovative,” McQueen-Jefferson said.  

Kingdom Life Tabernacle Pastor Otis Young kept the crowd engaged as the master of ceremony.

Otis, his wife Michelle and their three children frequently spend time at the Walker Ford facility. Every so often the family attends the center’s black history events, this year their daughter Nya Young performed a spiritual dance.  

“It is important to let the community know what positive things take place on the Southside,” said Michelle Young “I think we need to let it be known and let it be seen that we are doing positive things.”

Dianne Williams-Cox was the keynote speaker and was introduced by her father Robert Williams.

“As parents we love to see our children grow into their own, but we must teach them the importance of knowing where they came from,” said Williams as he was referring to his daughter.  

Williams-Cox, a candidate for upcoming Florida House District 8 election, began her speech by challenging the audience to take this moment and momentum to create a movement.

She spoke on how parents should be angered by the community’s crime rate, failing education systems and underfunded after school programs and that these problems can be changed by vocalizing concerns to local government officials.

“Our ancestors did the same very thing and now it is our turn to pick up the mantle and take these moments and turn them into a movement,” said Williams-Cox.

Williams-Cox concluded her message by focusing on the significance of empowering the youth

“This month we focus more on Black history by digging deeper into our history, teaching our children and helping them to understand we came from kings and queens so you should be acting kingly and queenly because that’s where you came from,” added Williams-Cox.

The Walker Ford Center’s next program is geared to informing children and teens how to have a safety spring break.