Black History Month

James Holly, M.D.

Several years ago, as I stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., I recalled the haunting words of Dion Dimucci’s 1968 song eulogizing Abraham Lincoln, John and Bobby Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This simple song stirs a mournful longing and lament for these fallen leaders. The words to “Abraham, Martin and John” have been resonating through my soul as we celebrate Black History Month:

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James Holly, M.D.

As we continue to celebrate “Black History Month” each February, it is important that this not just be a date on the calendar but that it contributes to the changing of our future by making us aware of our past.

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The Theodore Johns Branch Library will host its annual Black History Month Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.

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The Theodore Johns Branch Library will be hosting an event called "Crisis in Black Education: Learning through Spirituals, Music, and Poetry" for Black History Month, City of Beaumont administrative assistant Rosanna Mojica announced Feb. 10.

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The Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) invites children and their families to join in a stimulating art adventure at “Either/And” Family Arts Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. The event is free and open to the public and will feature hands-on art activities, refreshments and entertainment designed to encourage families to explore the museum and learn more about the artwork on display.

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Gethrel “Get” Hall Williams-Wright

Gethrel “Get” Hall Williams-Wright hasn’t ventured too far from home for too long in the seven-plus decades in which God has blessed her with the morning sun, and if given the opportunity to wake up another seven decades, she’d gladly do it again where it all started.

“I love Beaumont,” she says. “I love my city. I don’t want to be anywhere but here.

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In commemoration of Black History Month, the Beaumont Art League is asking artists to participate in an exhibit of unity and expression, crossing cultural barriers through art. The concept behind “United We Stand: The Artists Perspective” is to create a powerful community exhibit of artwork by our diverse network of talented artists that celebrates the contributions of African-Americans in art, history, and culture. Participating artist entry fees are $15 for members and $25 for non-members.

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Rufus Cormier has strived for excellence ever since he was a young boy growing up in Beaumont, where he attended segregated schools until he graduated from Hebert High School in 1966.

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Shirlene Cook with BISD students

Shirlene Cook has lived in Beaumont for decades, retiring from the Beaumont Independent School District in 2007 after 30 years of service. Throughout her life and her career, Cook has served the community in many capacities – volunteering, fundraising for nonprofits, leading, teaching – and that service has continued on into her retirement.

Cook has battled racism and sexism, breaking down barriers segregating certain groups, but she says she is just doing what is right.

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Beaumont Art League

In commemoration of Black History Month, the Beaumont Art League is exhibiting artwork of African-American artists from the Beaumont and Port Arthur communities. The exhibit will be the first of its kind in the Beaumont Art League history.

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