Local Community Members Celebrate Black History Month - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Community Members Celebrate Black History Month

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Every February the United States recognizes the achievements of African-Americans by celebrating Black History Month. We reached out to local community members to hear their take on this annual celebration.

"Black boy black boy don't ever hold your head in shame, we've paved your way of freedom with our long suffering and pain."

Author Donnell Perryman is reading from his latest book of poems, 'Below the Rim of Heaven.' He hopes his words help young African-Americans learn about their past and appreciate the present. "They wouldn't want to live my past, they think 'wow, you guys had it good.' No, we didn't have it good."

Perryman says there was definitely racial tension when he moved to Reno in the 1970's, but he stayed, played football for the University of Nevada and raised his family here.

"We've seen a heck of a lot of changes here, especially in this community."

"It's important that kids learn their story, not just for African-American kids, but for all kids to know the contributions that people have made to make this country great," says Verita Black Prothro, owner of Verita's Empowerment Boutique.

Many of them, right here in Nevada. "A lot of African-Americans have become significant leaders in our community, both on the civic side as well as on the public side," says Pastor Michael Randle of the Second Baptist Church of Reno.

"Bernice Mathews, first city council in the state senate - female in the state senate, and people like Steven Horsford, first black Congressman out of southern Nevada," says Black Prothro.

"Jesse Hall, being one of the first African-American principals in the city, having a school built in his name," adds Pastor Randle.

And all the community members we spoke with today agree, so much more is still possible.

"We have survived, we have made it. We are relevant and that is a beautiful thing."

Written by Andi Guevera

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