Hays County Commissioners Court members proclaimed February 2021 as Black History Month. Vanessa Westbrook shared information with the Court about a variety of happenings and events taking place throughout the month.
Shared from San Marcos Public Library: Black History Month began with Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, who believed that young Black people were not being taught enough of their own heritage, and he wanted to do something in the spirit of celebrating Black history. In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). According to History. com, Woodson and the ASALH “sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures.”
Black History Week continued to be celebrated throughout much of the United States for many decades after, but it was not until Feb. 3, 1975 that it was recognized nationally by President Gerald R. Ford. The following year in 1976, the ASALH expanded Black History Week to Black History Month, which was recognized by President Ford with a statement urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme chosen by the ASALH. This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
Black History Month Calendar of Events (subject to change, please verify with the organization hosting the event):
Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
City of Kyle Progress and Peace Panel hosted by City Councilman Dex Ellison, Kyle City Hall. Event theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”. Note event will be a hybrid with limited seating at the Kyle City Hall Chambers and virtual attendance with an interactive format for audience participation.
Feb. 13 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Celebrating Black History Month Event: I Love You TWO!
Location: Wonder World Park, 100 Prospect Street, San Marcos, Sponsored by Soulful Creations Tx and Wonder World Park. Donations for the Hays County Food Bank will be requested and collected at this event. Two food items will be rewarded with discounts at the Soulful Creations Tx and Wonder World Caves & Amusement Park.
Feb. 17, 2-3 p.m.
Virtual Tour of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum hosted by Dripping Springs Community Library. Experience an interactive, virtual education program about the Buffalo Soldiers and their involvement in the westward expansion of the United States. These fighting men represented the first Black professional soldiers in a peacetime army. The recruits came from varied backgrounds including former slaves and veterans from service in the Civil War. The nickname Buffalo Soldiers began with the Cheyenne warriors in 1867. The artifacts and exhibits featured in this experience are currently on display at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas.
Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Program: Myth of the Strong Black Woman: A Discussion Series on the Mental Health of Black Women. Presented by Hays/Caldwell County Women’s Center and The Dunbar Heritage Association with host Jonnie Wilson, Outreach Counselor at Hays-Caldwell Women Center, and an amazing panel of women.
Feb. 20 2-4 p.m.
Buda Black History Celebration 2.0: Lift Ev’ry Voice
Via virtual; details coming! Hosted by Sandra Bryant with Keeping Communities Connected (KCC) in Partnership with the City of Buda Master of Ceremony: Ray Bryant, Buda City Councilman & Derrick Bryant, Lockhart City Councilman.
Feb. 21 4:30-6 p.m.
Voices at The Table
A community forum on race and social injustice. February being Black History Month, we will discuss black and blended families in Wimberley and Hays County. Co-moderated by Sandra Organ Solis and Marissa Fehler; Zoom. Go to https://table.yosoyx.net to register for the event.
Celebrating Black History Month Event: Karaoke at the CAVE!
Come on over to Wonder World Park, 100 Prospect Street, San Marcos; Sponsored by Soulful Creations Tx and Wonder World Caves and Amusement Park. The Karaoke at the CAVE challenge will be filled with fun, and LIVE on Face Book; Please bring donations for the Hays/Caldwell County Women’s Center as items collected at this event. Items needed are household cleaning supplies, new towels (bath towels, hand towels, face towels), and writing journals with pens.
Celebrating Our “Hairitage!” Pt. 2 sponsored by The Dunbar Heritage Association (virtual and possibly hybrid); The Dunbar Heritage Association will host a night of discussion that examines the politics, complexities, and beauty of black hair both within the larger American culture and within the black community. The virtual portion will be aired on the DHA Facebook Page.
Month-long events Celebrating Black History
Buda Public Library will have a Celebrating Black History Month virtual event; weekly book reading on Face Book; take and make kits are available free of charge for ages 5 – 10; digital book displays on website throughout the month of February
City of Buda will be highlighting African American contributions each day on social media pages through graphics and video every day in February.
Dripping Springs Community Library will feature virtual book displays on its Facebook page honoring African Americans throughout February. Ages 8-12 are invited to solve a crossword puzzle featuring famous Black Americans.
City of Kyle highlights African American Contributions to our everyday life. Various forms of media/social media will highlight an African American each day of February starting February 1 through February 28.
Kyle Public Library will have books on exhibits that were written by African Americans, books with African American characters, and events that highlight African Americans. Children’s book reading virtual event will highlight African Americans, and be read by local citizens throughout the month of February.
In addition, the following cities/entities have been requested to or will do proclamations:
Feb. 1 – Niederwald City Council
Buda City Council
Kyle City Council
San Marcos City Council
Feb. 3 Uhland City Council
Feb. 4 Wimberly City Council
Feb. 9 Dripping Springs City Council