Event Honors Black Women in America

Journal News   
February 20th, 2012

Credit: Patricia Feaster/Creative Commons

By Edward Marshall

MARTINSBURG – Destiny Baptist Church in Martinsburg hosted a special Black History Month event and fundraiser Sunday (February 12th) honoring African-American women in America’s culture and history.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the NAACP Berkeley County Scholarship Fund. The event featured speakers, performances by the musical group NEVAEH, portrayals of black women throughout history and a presentation on the history of the black church.

Mistress of Ceremonies Danette Ross said the theme for Sunday’s program was taken from the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). The association has dedicated the 2012 Black History Month theme to exploring African-American women’s roles in and contributions to the making of America.

“From the American Revolution to the present, African-American women have played a myriad of crucial roles in the making of our nation. Their labor and leadership, their motherhood and patriotism, and their intellect and artistic expression has both enriched both the African-American community and this nation at large,” speaker Viola Johnson said while introducing Sunday’s theme. “In slavery and freedom, their struggle has been at the heart of the American experience, and their triumph over racism and sexism are a testimonial to our common human spirit.”

Johnson said in American culture today, many know of the accomplishments of a few prominent figures. Sunday’s event helped expose those who attended to lesser known women integral in black culture and history in America.

“The accomplishments of these exceptional women are the expression of a vibrant culture in which African-American women played a significant role through labors, struggles, organizations and sacrifices,” Johnson said.

Prominent members in churches, community groups, literary societies, sororities and other organizations, she said black women have been the core of black history and culture in America, but said that their struggles have often escaped the gaze of the public. Never succumbing to victimhood, she said black women have pushed forward to uplift themselves, their families and communities.

“Their story is unique to the annals of American history,” Johnson said. “To gain an understanding of the history of the African-American woman is to broaden our understanding of a people and the American nation.”

[Source: Journal News]

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