Members of the public are invited to the annual ceremony kicking off Black Heritage Month in Lawton-Fort Sill. Cameron University will host the ceremony at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, in the McCasland Ballroom of the McMahon Centennial Complex, located at University Drive and D Avenue. Parking is available across from the facility.
Mayor Stan Booker will sign the official proclamation declaring February 2023 as Black Heritage Month. A host of community leaders will also sign the proclamation. They will include Dr. Regina DeLoach on behalf of Kevin Hime, superintendent, Lawton Public Schools; Bishop Dr. John Dunaway, president, Lawton Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance; Mike Forrest, president, National Pan-Hellenic Council of Lawton/Fort Sill; Col. Mike Stewart, Commander, 434th Field Artillery Brigade, Army Fires Center of Excellence & Fort Sill; Cameron President John McArthur; and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Sherene L. Williams, president, Lawton-Fort Sill Branch NAACP.
About Black Heritage Month
Black Heritage Month (also known as Black History Month) is a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history. The celebration owes its beginnings to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a pioneer in the study of African-American history who established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) in 1915. In 1926, Woodson developed Negro History Week, choosing the second week of February because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population: Frederick Douglass (February 14) and President Abraham Lincoln (February 12). By 1976, Negro History Week had morphed into Black History Month. Ten years later, the U.S. Congress designated the month of February as National Black History Month. The ensuing Presidential Proclamation noted that “the foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.”