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Community gathers for Black History Month celebration

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Above: Carolyn Jefferson, right, portrays Harriet Tubman during Friday’s Black History Month event at the Roswell office of the Protective Services Division of the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department. The event was open to all but intended primarily for black foster children and their families, guardians and friends. Given the time allotted for remarks, Jefferson focused on Martin Luther King Jr.’s message about judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The event organizer, Helen Wakefield, a CYFD youth transition specialist, is at left. Below: Roswell City Councilor and teacher Angela Moore talks about the origins of a month to mark the contributions of black citizens to U.S. society. It started when the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History chose to inaugurate a week-long observance in February 1926, selecting a time around when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had been born. The commemoration became a month-long event in 1976, and, in 1986, Congress officially declared February Black History Month, which has been renewed each year by presidential proclamation. (Lisa Dunlap Photos)