A night of music, recitations, tributes, and inspiration encompassing “New Visions: Making Black History in Your Life and in the Lives of Others” was held at North Central Texas College (NCTC) Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in celebration of 2014’s Black History Month.
Dr. Brent Wallace. Vice-president of Instruction and Chief Academic Officer, followed NCTC’s president Dr. Eddie Hadlock’s welcome with a piano rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Wallace stated that the song was penned by John Newton, a former slave trader, many decades after Newton had left slave trading and seafaring behind and had become a minister of God, repenting of his previous life.
NCTC counselor Robert Adams kept the program moving with plenty of audience participation.
Jasmine Royal read a tribute to the late South African president, Nelson Mandela and Jalyn Sanders honored Dr. Martin Luther King by reading his biography and the words of Dr. Kings “I Have A Dream” speech.
A praise dance was performed by youth from Gainesville’s Saint James CME Church. The group featured Daesha Johnson, 11, Kanisya Haley, 10, Markeesha Dean, 7, and Katelyn Haley, 9.
Mt. Olive Baptist Church performed a medley of songs followed by the key note speaker. Kayla Tucker-Adams.
Adams, a motivational speaker, writer, public relations executive and on-air personality has more than 14 years experience in public relations. She currently serves as the senior public relations director for the Bishop T.D. Jakes Ministries and The Potter’s House.
Tucker-Adams said that black history is not about just what has occurred in the past. History is in-the-making through the efforts of each person each day.
“Each of us has a gift and purpose and we can all contribute to society,” she said.
“The famous faces and names of the past who we consider part of our black history are not uniquely exclusive,” she continued. “Today we stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before us and sacrificed for us all with their blood, sweat, and tears..”
“We all face adversity in some way, whether it be a lack of education, opportunity or naysayers that will try and interrupt your plans and keep you from your goal,” she said. “Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and others were not born with a silver spoon,” she said. “Yes we stand on their shoulders but need to know that what each of us does today is part of black history too..
“My mother encouraged me and supported me with my dreams. She worked hard to expose me to a new world of opportunity.”
“She is part of black history also,” she said. ”We are each part of black history.”
“It is your choice about what you do to follow your dreams and to accomplish your goals,”” she continued. “Don’t just talk about it. Be about it.”
“Your actions may be a motivation for others. You are part of black history too.”
Tucker-Adams said that each day can be a wake up call and that we all have a power for greatness.
“Don’t quit and you will win,” she said in closing. “Our greatest success collectively and individually can be to inspire others.”
Rounding out the evening, Robert Adams challenged the audience to go out and make a difference in the world.
“Wipe out bigotry, hatred and jealousy in our lifetime,” he continued. “History is our teacher and we must learn from it.”
“We have all seen how the world has evolved and where our actions have led us.”
“It only take one person to initiate change,” he encouraged. “Throw pride out the window and follow your heart. After all, we are all one people.”
For more information about the Black History Program at NCTC, contact Robert Adams at 940-668-7731 Ext. 4344.
(Story by Cathy Mounce, Gainesville Daily Register)