African-American history is one of the most fascinating and unique parts of U.S. History. February is Black History Month; and while the works and triumphs of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Harriet Tubman should always be commemorated; it is also important to make sure that the contributions of people like Hiram Revels, Bass Reeves, and the Tuskegee Airmen are not forgotten as well. If you’ve never heard of the latter individuals, they’re just a few of many other heroes in African-American history that were showcased as part of a black history exhibition held at Hart Park in Santa Clarita.
Located in Hart Hall, the showcase explores the journey of African-Americans in this country from the genesis of slavery to the election of the first African-American president. There were rare photographs, newspaper clippings, and other historic memorabilia displayed all around the hall, as well as artistic paintings of famous African-Americans dispersed around the area by Santa Clarita artist Michael R. Powell.
The whole event was created by Albert Ewing, Jr., the Recreation Service Leader for the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation. Mr. Ewing was a wonderful guide as he led me through all of the fascinating arrangements he had on display. Each section had a particular theme and time-frame that encompassed the hall, starting from around the 17th century to current times.
Themes ranged from the horrors of slavery and lynching, to incredible feats and accomplishments from the past and present.
A theme that particularly caught my eye was a section dedicated to “African-Americans during Wartime” which showcased triumphs of blacks during historic U.S. conflicts like the Buffalo Soldiers during the Spanish American War and the heroic Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Important political figures, famous sports figures, great musicians, and unique trend-setters were also featured and themed around the hall.
Mr. Ewing said that he wants everyone to come and visit his showcase because we all are “brothers” and “sisters” dwelling together in this vast country called the United States of America. Thus this history is not just African-American history, but in fact all of our history and should be treated as such.
If anyone is interested in contacting Mr. Ewing for a future showcase in their area, he can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org