Black History celebration makes a difference

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

A special program sponsored by the African-American social and civic organizations of Butler County to help celebrate Black History Month was held Saturday at Dunbar Community Center.

Larry Langford was the guest speaker.

The theme for the program was "Projections for the New

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Millennium: How can we Make a Difference?"

The event was sponsored by ten different groups who came together for the first time to organize a community event.

Ruby Shambray, chairperson for the program and a member of the Thrifty-teers Professional Club, said she considered the event a great success and looks forward to hosting programs with the other groups again in the future.

"It was the first time we had came together. Everyone had a good time and many members of the various clubs have said that they would like to host a program again, perhaps even doing it on an annual basis," Shambray said.

Langford, mayor of the city of Fairfield, Ala., spoke on the importance of discipline and the need for the American family to take control of their own homes. He said until mothers and fathers take control of their children that our society would not improve.

"Dr. King's dream is quickly turning into a nightmare," he said. "Because mommas and daddies have stopped being mommas and daddies."

Langford is the youngest mayor elected in the city of Fairfield and is a product of the Birmingham City School system.

He is a graduate of Parker High School, Lawson State Community College and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

He worked for WBRC TV, Channel 6, for 10 years as a news reporter and served two years on the Birmingham City Council before being elected mayor.

Among the projects completed during his three terms as mayor includes the creation of the Board of the West Jefferson Amusement Authority which assists with the management of Visionland Park.

Visionland Park was one of his visions for the city that is now a reality.

Because of his successes and his passionate style of speaking, organizers felt he would be a perfect guest to help show people a way to a better future.

"He was our first choice," Shambray said. "Some of us had heard him on other occasions and we felt that he would have something important to include about making the new millennium a better place for everyone."

Also featured during the program was several local choirs including: Bethlehem Baptist Choir, Pilgrim Rest Mass Choir, Butler Chapel Mass Choir, Zion Rest A.M.E. Zion Choir, Long Creek Baptist Church and Friendship Baptist Gospel Choir (Georgiana).

There was approximately 150 people in attendance at the program. Councilmember Dexter McLendon, who was there serving as Mayor Pro-tem, honored Langford by giving him a key to the city.

The groups who helped make the event possible were: The Carnation Camellia Club, Co-Workers Professional Woman's Club, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Ebony Social Club, Optimist Club, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, the Professional Men's Club, Sista's, the Thrifty-teers Professional Club and Zeta Phi Beta sorority.

Shambray said that the program was a way for these groups to help make the community better.

"We felt that we should come together and make a difference in the community as we enter this new millennium. We hope that it will make our community a better place and make a difference in people's lives," she said.