Black History Month has its origins 1915 when Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves, joined thousands of Black Americans in a Chicago celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation. The exhibits highlighting African American achievements inspired him to help found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now ASALH) and singlehandedly launch the Journal of Negro History. In February 1926, Woodson announced the first Negro History Week, which was officially shifted to Black History Month in 1976. We look forward to the day when schools incorporate the full range of diversity as part of their mission every day.
We honor all our Black leaders and trailblazers in Manatee County. Please hear the inspiring words of these few….
Susie Copeland, who has brought so much to the Black community and everyone in Manatee, talks about how Black History Month got started.
Florence Shelton-Clark, our Manatee County Democratic liaison to the Florida Democratic Party, talks about Black history being an integral part of all American history.
Manatee County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy reflects on the legacy of Black leaders in Manatee County, the values he learned from his family and the need for our county to have a more united approach for equality.
Barbara Harvey is making Black history as a 50+ year educator, former education director, and former school board member with a Manatee County elementary school named in her honor. She is a founder of Educational Consultants Consortium in Palmetto, more info at https://www.servingeverychild.com/
Pam Coachman, first Black female on the Bradenton City Council, elected in 2020, reflects on Black History.
Reverend James T. Golden recounts the origins of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He also recognizes Gwendolyn Brown, Manatee's first Black County Commissioner and Pam Coachman, Bradenton's first female Black Councilwoman.
Manatee resident Henry Lawrence, former NFL player (3-time Super Bowl, 2-time Pro Bowl champion, Florida Sports Hall of Fame), entertainer and singer, talks about what Black History means to him
Shirley Pearson, founder and director of Mt. Carmel Resource Center in Palmetto, talks about living Black History today.
Bishop Livingston of the South Florida Diocese of the First Born Church of the Living God reflects on those who have headed out to make new Black History.