Black History Month 2021

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On Tuesday, Feb. 9 2021 the Council held a virtual commemoration for Black History Month. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “African American Changemakers who are Leading, Healing and Shaping Montgomery County.” The commemoration will include a video highlighting some of these leaders and a proclamation presentation. 

This year’s video highlights the inspiring service of five Black Montgomery County residents: County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, who shares his experiences as the first physician in his family, and what that representation means to him during this time of crisis; high school senior Avery Smedley, who is an activist using her voice to prove there is no age limit for social change; Reverend Patricia Drumming of the Rainbow Community Food Pantry, who is feeding the hungry in the community and doing so with an added message of hope; Joseph Hooks, founder of the 480 Club, who gives back through mentorship and sports; and Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne Pollard, who is the first African American woman to lead Montgomery College which is a critical community asset and is shaping the future for residents across our community.


The Council has been hosting commemorative events to honor Black History Month since 2015. Last year’s commemoration focused on historically African American communities in Montgomery County.

“Black History Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate the many Black Americans in our community and their achievements that helped shape Montgomery County and beyond,” Council President Tom Hucker said. “In Montgomery County, we continue working to build a more inclusive, equitable future for all—not just during the month of February, but every month of the year.”

“Black history is America’s history. Over the years, we’ve taught more of this history beyond just the month of February, giving the world an opportunity to learn more about the contributions of Black Americans,” said Councilmember Craig Rice. “You can't actually understand our country's politics, its wealth and the fragility of our democracy, if you don't acknowledge the global footprint of Black people.”

“As we celebrate Black History Month in 2021, we have much to reflect on. Despite widespread social injustice and unrest in our country, as well as the devastation of COVID-19 throughout our Black communities, we have still seen victories,” said Councilmember Will Jawando. “The election of our first Black and Asian American female vice president, and the successes in Georgia led by voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, brought about a turning point in our democracy.

“We will continue to move forward as African Americans, standing on the shoulders of our ancestors who shaped every part of this nation, from inventions, to patents, to life changing scientific discoveries. Please join me as we celebrate Black History Month and the incredible contributions that Black Americans have made to our county, to our state, to the nation and the world.”