Sioux City NAACP kicks off Black History Month celebrations - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City NAACP kicks off Black History Month celebrations

SIOUX CITY (KTIV)- The Sioux City Chapter of the NAACP will hold different events all month long to celebrate Black History Month, and kicked off the celebrations on Sunday with a theatrical performance of different events in Civil Rights history.
NAACP officials say Black History Month is about remembering why everyone in America can expect equal rights.
Monique Scarlett with the Sioux City NAACP says the chapter wanted to specifically focus on the history of the civil rights movement this year as they remember the work of those who abolished slavery and segregation.
"Our young people, our goal was to give them education and insight of the history, our middle age group was to challenge them to do more in the community, and our senior age group, we want them to feel appreciated for the sacrifices that they've made," Scarlett said.
The program, kicking off Sioux City's Black History Month celebration, was held in the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Director of the center, Marcia Poole, says there's no better place she can think of to celebrate history and heritage.
"This is one of our stories, our connections with the past that make things so relevant, and this place so relevant in lessons of history and how we can look at today, bring people together to encounter the present day community," Poole said.
Performers took the stage, representing iconic figures in black history, such as Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
Scarlett says remembering what they did accomplish is crucial to maintain the progress that's been made.
"I believe that it's very important that we support each other's cultural differences, and not look at them as differences but support them and grow together as the United States of America," Scarlett said.
While those at the event say they love remembering the stories surrounding the civil rights movement, the most important part of black history month is continuing the progress set into motion by those who came before.
"A lot of progress has been made. We have a long way to go, because right here in our local city we still have challenges. But I do believe that one day, we still will overcome," Scarlett said.
And, she says, what better time to find motivation for the work still to be done, than a month focused on celebrating the work that's already been accomplished. 
Up next on the NAACP's schedule of events for Black History Month is their annual Freedom Fund Banquet, their primary fundraising event where their scholarship winners will be awarded.
That dinner will be held on Saturday, February 15. Tickets are 50 dollars for adults and 15 dollars for children under 16.
To make a reservation, you can call Richard Hayes at 712-258-6344.
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