TEMPLE, Texas — The City of Temple wrapped up Black History Month with their 2nd annual Black History ceremony. During the ceremony, African American business owners, motivational speakers and community leaders shared facts about Black History with hopes to improve race relations in Temple.
The ceremony was all about exposure to Black History.
African drums were on display, and community leaders also shared contributions from groups like ‘Innovation Black Chamber of Commerce’.
‘Miss Black Bell County 2023’ Kandace Harmon spoke on larger issues impacting African Americans across the United States.
"More families of color — as a key takeaway — are needed to foster and adopt Black children to provide a racial mirror for the children," Harmon said.
Dr. Rodney Duckett also spoke, sharing known and unknown facts about Black History.
"I try to teach people that Black History is more than just those iconic figures that you see on the wall. Those 10 or 15 people that we see — Black History deals with those unsung heroes, those voices of the voiceless that springs from the graves that allows us this one thing that we all have — is opportunity,” founder of Impact Outreach, Dr. Duckett said.
Temple Mayor Tim Davis says this event shows the efforts that Temple is making to improve race relations and investments in underserved communities in the city.
As Temple residents are still dealing with the 'not guilty' verdict from the Michael Dean officer-involved shooting, Mayor Davis says this event helps to keep mending bonds in the community.
“Whenever it was appropriate, we began to reach out and began to hopefully rebuild those relationships — and I’m proud of the work we’ve done," Davis said.
Still — community members say they want to see more done to improve the relationship between the community and police, and Dr. Duckett says it can happen with more funding for more education for police officers.
He added, “It’s proved statistically that through education, it has eliminated most deaths. Some of the most uneducated police officers are the ones that somehow use instinct to pull that trigger.”
Improving relations for everyone in Temple can be done through the understanding of a race outside of their own.
“I urge everyone every day to Google something about Black History and just study it, because Black History is so vast. It’s not just the resistance part, but it’s so vast when you get outside of this country known as America and see Black History globally.