TROY — Black History Month was ushered in in Troy at Lincoln Community Center on Thursday with a special program entitled, “The Next Generation.”
“This is our Black History Month kick-off,” confirmed executive director Shane Carter. “We always do it on February 1. What it’s about and represents is the importance of black history in the community of Troy, and keeping the kids intact with their roots and their heritage. This is important for kids this time of year, so they understand where we come from, where we’re going, and to remember the people who did so much for them.”
The program was put on by participating youth of the center’s After-School Enrichment program, and included oral presentations on local black history, a skit that featured Martin Luther King’s named used as an acronym, and a sign-language performance of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
Carter himself addressed the crowd with a bit of history on the center, which has operated in Troy since 1865.
“At that time, America was definitely very segregated, but Troy was progressive in that there was a building here that African-Americans could utilize,” Carter said. “We’re fortunate that in 2018, we’re still doing well, and have a lot of programs for kids of all colors and ethnicities. We try our best to be a true multicultural center.”
Carter also took a moment to acknowledge the recent passing of the center’s former director, Alphas Wicker.
“He passed away on Monday at 9:30 a.m.,” Carter said. “He was the director here from 1971 until 2007. He was an inspiration to a lot of our lives. He sacrificed a lot for many people. He was responsible for getting child care up-and-running. He put in the handicap ramp to allow people to get into the building. It was sad that he passed, and we want to embrace him for all he did he for this community.”
Following the program, refreshments were served to those in attendance.
The program served as a lead-in for other upcoming Black History Month events, including a “Soul Food and Jazz” event held at Lincoln Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 24.
For more information, visit www.lcctroy.com, or find Lincoln Community Center on Facebook.