Saturday afternoon, the community gathered at Deep Water City Lodge #751 to celebrate Black History in Pensacola with hosting by the Orange Blossom Temple #661.
Mistress of Ceremony for the event was Dgt. LaVetor Moore.
As the celebration began, the crowd enjoyed entertainment of music, praise dance, solos, and poems.
David Hawkins, speaker for the occasion spoke to the audience in regards to the children. He began by asking “Where are our young people? We are losing our young people.” In 2001, 1668 Blacks were killed in this country. In 2008 and 2009 young people made up 15% of nation’s population but 45% were killed by violence. If we don’t choose to do something it will come back to our door steps,” Hawkins stated.
He continued “Everybody and everything has our young people’s attention but us. Rappers have something to tell, TV shows have something to tell our children.” “We can take back our kids, one child at a time. We must teach our kids values; honesty, integrity must be part of their lives.”
“I work with a company called STRIDE, which was started by a four star Army general. It is a program I’m involved in. We take kids that are troubled and take them on trips, basketball games, circus, and just do things with them to let them know we care,” he said. “The key is, we are vying for the young kids attention.”
Hawkins stated “1. We must let them know that we care. 2. Don’t be a follower, just going along for the ride.”
“If we had one church that every day every week there was a paid tutor there to help our children that would cause a turnaround.” “We must get involved and let them know that we are there for them. We just have to spend a little less time at happy hour, or sitting in our easy chairs talking about how we made it. “My final question to you is “Who will you inspire?”