by JAMILA YOUNG
The Bristol NAACP held its annual Black History Month Musical on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Bridge Community Church.
Songs were sung, dances were performed, and remarks were made. Former ESPN sports anchor, Eric Clemons was a special guest, along with Jamie McDonald, a 2020 Census Partnership Specialist.
Clemons is an author who wrote a book about his journey to becoming a sports anchor, and brought copies of his book to sell at the event.
McDonald spoke about the upcoming 2020 census that will be mailed out on Thursday, March 12, and said that everyone should fill it out. McDonald said it can be filled out by mail, phone, or online, and that if it isn’t completed, a census taker will make a home visit in May, and the next census will be 10 year from now. “The census funds programs that receive federal funding,” said McDonald. “It’s safe, easy, and really important.”
“This is the fourth or fifth year we’ve hosted (the Black History Month Musical). It’s a highlight for me. This is Bridge Community Church, and our mission is connecting with God, connecting with others, and connecting others with God through Jesus,” said Bridge’s pastor Todd Williams. “I love it every year; every year it’s a little different. I’m always so blessed by the musical talents of the kids, the adults. It’s always just phenomenal.”
Bristol’s NAACP Vice President Tim Camerl said he thought the event went well, and was happy that the NAACP was able to celebrate Black History Month with the event again.
“I think it went extremely well, and I’m proud that so many people showed up,” said Camerl. “I’m so appreciative of our history. We don’t get that much publication and I’ve been hoping over the years that somehow the NAACP or someone can introduce the concept of black history into the mainstream part of our education because we have one of the richest histories in America. On many accounts, the general population, when they see us, they can’t see the full impact beyond the skin because our history has been distorted.”