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Celebrating Black History

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Atmore Nursing Center residents celebrated Black History Month with talk of past African-American leaders and the Expose' All-Star Dance Team.
The program was entitled "The Soul of Black Folk." Ann Carter, a former nursing home employee of 28 years, spoke of advances African-American's have made throughout the past and how it is important to educate children about the African-American culture.
"America has come a long way," Carter said. "We as a community, a black community, have a great heritage. America is a great country, a beautiful country."
Carter said that African-Americans are not from Africa, that the ancestors are from Africa, but that the people here are American.
"We have so many nationalities that are in the black community," Carter said. "We are American, our ancestors came from Africa, but we are American."
Because of the advances African-Americans have made in the American society, Carter is very proud to call herself an African American and wants to keep the history of African-Americans passed on to the next generation.
"We should be very proud of what our ancestors have done," Carter said. "So many of our men and women fought for our educational rights. So many died and fought for our education. It's so much easier for our kids to learn today about their African history and national history. We have to continue to teach them about their heritage and culture."
Carter wants children to learn about the background of where they came from, their ancestry.
"It's not all about the dancing, rapping and singing," she said. "We must know our background. We must teach our children about the background of African-Americans."
Slavery has paved the way for the African-American society, Carter said.
"The slaves made the way for us in America," she said. "They learned so many skills like cooking and working and passed those skills on to their children."
It is very important for all people, no matter the color of skin, religion or economic status to come together as a society, Carter said.
"We have to link together," she said. "We all need each other. We must come forward together. It is important to pick your sisters and brothers up if you see one falling, pick them up. Make sure you love one another."
Carter puts her trust in God and believes that it takes all races to make this a great country.
"God is good to all of us," she said. "He has brought us so far. It takes all of us to make up this country, all colors."
On a final note, Carter shared just how much she misses her old job at the nursing home.
"I always think about this nursing home," she said. "I love you all."
After Carter spoke about African-American culture and history, the Escambia County High School's Expose' step team put on a presentation entitled "Still We Rise," which is the team's black history month program.
Expose' read poems and sang songs that celebrate black history and rejoice what it means to be African-American.
The most enjoyable part of the Expose' presentation was the step routine they performed. The residents at Atmore Nursing Center clapped along as the young ladies in Expose' danced. The excitement was evident in their eyes as they followed the group's stomping and singing.
It is certain that Ann Carter's speech about black history and the Expose' performance at ANC will be remembered by the residents as a day of education, excitement and enjoyment.