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Black History Month has come and gone, but the contributions made by African Americans throughout history will be celebrated throughout the year.

Locally, people of all races and ethnicities were able to engage in thoroughly inspiring events through February.

In Deltona, New Hope Baptist Church continues to be a solid foundation in the community that supplies services for all.

In 2020, ABC Daycare & Preschool, run by the church, celebrated its 20th-year anniversary Feb. 15.

“Numerous lives have been positively impacted by their experience of hope and a loving environment at ABC Daycare & Preschool,” Dot Bradley, first lady of New Hope, said. “In the next 20 years, we expect to have continued partnerships with the families and children that will matriculate through ABC Daycare & Preschool. It has been a joy to see the development and growth of all the children.”

Many of the day care graduates came back to celebrate the joyous occasion and provide their stories of growth, from being a freshman at a two-year college to doing well in their current elementary school.

Later last month, the monthlong Black History celebration continued with the “Celebrating US (Unity and Service) — Our History, Our Hope and Our Heritage” program Feb. 22.

Celebrating US featured a diverse lineup, including a musical selection from Voices of Hope from New Hope, a poem read by Fannie Miller, a dance performance by the Hispanic American Youth Group and the New Hope dancers, Sisters Build Network for Girls Inc. and a black history presentation by ManUp Mentoring.

“The vision of Celebrating US is to bring the community together, [and] to celebrate black history by remembering our past experiences and contributions,” Bradley said. “Our community collaborations will give us strength to overcome any obstacles. By reflecting on our present environment, we can envision the unlimited potential of the future.”

Finally, the church had its third annual Black History Gala, which was hosted by Leslie Giscombe, founder and CEO of the African American Entrepreneurs Association Inc. Giscombe provides platforms to spread the importance of economic development through entrepreneurship.

The guest speaker was Dr. George Fraser, chairman and CEO of FraserNet Inc.

The program also included Pastor William Bradley of New Hope, and a prayer by attorney D’Lorah Butts-Lucas.

Dr. Khemya MitRahina, founder of Khamitic Healing Arts, gave a musical presentation; and a solo was performed by Christine Giscombe Rowe, as well.

“People will not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat,” said Fraser, as he shared his more than 30 years of experience of being the CEO of FraserNet Inc.

The audience was left with food for thought: “If there is no obstacle, there is no way! What will be our legacy?” Fraser said.

Now that Women’s History Month has come upon us, how will you celebrate those who have come before us?

Please visit www.aaeassociation.org and www.newhopedeltona.com, for more information on the African American Entrepreneurs Association Inc and New Hope Baptist Church, respectively.

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to cameronchronicleslive@gmail.com.


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