The Lea County Center for Arts held its fifth annual Black History Month Celebration Saturday.
People from all over the community came together to enjoy music and art representative of black culture.
NAACP President for the Hobbs chapter, Joseph Cotton, said the main goal of the event was to educated young people, especially young African Americans that may not be educated on the history of their ancestors.
“…Our young people don’t really know about black history so it’s important to bring awareness to our community that black history is important and black history is American history.” Cotton said.
The opening and closing live performance act for the event was preformed by the Langston University marching band, a traditionally black university in Oklahoma.
Lonnie Easter, the Director of Bands said this wasn’t the first time the college preformed in New Mexico.
“I mean any time we get to come out and be a apart of anything community based it’s always a good thing.”
Although contemporary styled music was preformed, Cotton says the theme of the event was centered around traditional gospel music.
Since music is a large piece of black history, it was important for the display area to embody that theme in an authentic way.
“It was painful and when you really listen to the lyrics and listen to the words of the gospel songs, some of those songs were just merely made up by people being in pain and in distress…”
Although the gospel genre is heavily rooted in a tragic past, Cotton said a new hope can be found in the younger generation, that now has access to opportunities that many African Americans died fighting for.
That fact, is worth celebrating.