Black History Month celebration

February 25, 2020

During the month of February, EPCC celebrated Black History Month with festivities.

 

This year the theme is “African Americans and the Vote: Overcoming Obstacles to Success.”  

 

 

Eduardo Flores / Tejano Tribune

A table with display of some of the important activists.

 

 

Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs, Olga Chavez, had this to say about Black History Month, “Recognizing the accomplishments of Black Americans is an important part of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at EPCC.’’ EPCC is a seven-time winner of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

 

For the entire month of February, each campus library will have its own exhibit. 

 

The Valle Verde campus had a display featuring a timeline of African American history. 

 

This includes events such as when the first African Americans arrived in the British-American colonies, the year 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed slavery, the year 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed, which ensured that all men and women 21 and older could vote, regardless of religion, race, or education. 

 

The display also had photographs.  

 

One of the photographs that was featured was former President Lyndon B. Johnson shaking hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the day he signed the Voting Rights Act. 

 

The display has another timeline detailing the events of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

 

The display also showed off books such as “The Soul of Black Folk” By W.E. B. DuBois, “Lowering the Voting Act”, and “The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement” by Aldon D. Morris.  

 

One of the notable events that EPCC puts on during Black History Month is an art show.

 

This art display was located at the EPCC Administrative Service Center in Building A that started on February 17.  

 

The artists that were featured in the display are Anthony Williams, Leticia Luevanos, J.M. Zozaya, Cesar Barraza, Carnell Washington, E.J. Thompson and Rita Kent. 

 

Another artist featured was Trey Broomfield, who is an El Paso native. 

 

He uses photography and video to create imagery that shows his development as an African American male and his perspective on the world.

 

In his work, Broomfield makes comments on things like mass media distribution, and his own personal and cultural identity. 

 

Bob Snead, who is a decorated veteran of three decades in the military, was also featured.  

 

He has paintings around the world and one hanging in the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

 

He was appointed Artist-in-Residence for UTEP’s African American studies in 1998. 

 

Snead’s “The Errand of the Corporal Cross” was used for the model for the Buffalo Soldier Memorial in Fort Bliss in 1998.

 

A year later, Snead was inducted into the El Paso International Hall of Fame for visual arts on November 5, 1999. 

 

In the military, Snead earned 41 Air medals, three purple hearts, three Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with silver medals, two Bronze Stars with V Devices, the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Aviator Badge, and a Senior Parachutist badge. 

 

Franklin J. Torres had some of his work featured in the art gallery.

 

His work merges abstract with some sculptural. He uses colors and materials haphazardly to focus on application and texture that produces a constructive nature.

 

The last artist that was heavily featured was Chance Bailey Johnson, the youngest artist of the group.

 

Johnson has been working on art since he was two years old, and has been an award-winning artist since he was 12-years-old.

 

Johnson sculps, illustrates, is a cellist, and an artist.  

 

Johnson’s work that was in the art gallery depicts scenes of El Paso, combining colors and layering of images. 

 

The EPCC Black History Legacy Award winners are Judge John Chatman, Baby Ruth Boswell, and the EPCC Cross Country Half Marathon Team.

 

The keynote speaker of the event was Gary Bledsoe, pH.D., President of the Texas NAACP. Wrapping up Black History Month on February 26, a discussion panel will be held on this year’s theme at the TM campus foyer. 

 

Panelist will include retired Command Sergeant Major Anthony C. Robinson, Crystal S. Roman, producer and director at the Blacked Latina Movement, Abeni Janae Merriweather, a teen advocate and musician, and Curtis Smith, a retired army veteran who has received a Bronze Combat Star Award. 

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