Posted February 2, 2023
February marks the 97h anniversary of the creation of Black History Month. From the struggles of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and the Buffalo Soldiers to the victories in civil rights that were led years later by individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, Black History Month has served as a time to remember those who fought hard to improve the condition of our great Nation, but to also preserve the rights and dignity for all of those who live in America.
Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States. It was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Carter G. Woodson helped create the holiday with the hope that it would eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.
Black History Month in Tucson will be marked with virtual events, celebrations, discussions and symposiums across our community.
This year, the City of Tucson will be formally celebrating the Juneteenth Holiday, a proposal that I brought forward and my colleagues unanimously supported.
In Ward 5, is the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Plaza at the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center. The Buffalo Soldiers Memorial was part of Proposition 407 Parks Bond Measure, which the good citizens of Tucson approved in 2018.
I have been working with Jon Covington, Dr. Michael Eng, Lee Easter, City Manager Michael Ortega, Jerry Neely with the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center, and the 9th and 10th GSAAC Calvary Association on this project for this Memorial, honoring those who served in the U.S. Army to protect Tucson, Arizona and this nation, which is now an integral part of the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center.
Ward 5 is proud to have Mr. Charles Kendricks owner of “Mr. K’s” and his African-American History Museum. Mr. James Christopher’s history collection and his work, creating the Pueblo Gardens Neighborhood Association Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, the only neighborhood association in Tucson that honors the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, raising money for educational scholarships for neighborhood youth and Willie Blake with his work on the Breakfast, Western Hills II neighborhood and various projects that benefit our community.
Our community has lost two great leaders in Gloria Copeland and Mel Hannah, but they will be now our Guardian Angels too.
The NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens created the Rosa Parks Awards to honor those in the community to help make lives better for everyone.
Another Ward 5 resident was Quincie Douglas, who was active in the Model Cities program that brought neighborhood centers, sidewalks, street lights, and food programs to the disadvantaged areas of Tucson. Douglas was a champion of the poor and the elderly, also spearheaded the Low Income Free Transportation Services (LIFTS) program, which is now known as the Sun Van transportation service. She was recognized for her work and commitment to help those in need, by having both the Library and Neighborhood Center named in her honor.