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Black History Month Celebration Highlights State's Traditionally Black Schools

Josh James

A complete cast of lawmakers and African-American leaders marked the observance of Black History Month Wednesday at the Capitol.

Voices rang throughout the Capitol, courtesy of the Kentucky State Ensemble, as part of the official Black History Month celebration.

The program honored Kentucky’s two historically black institutions of higher learning – Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky. State Sen. Gerald Neal said both schools have overcome numerous obstacles to produce their success stories.

"What is most impressive about the record of our historically black institutions is not just the famous alumni that they have produced, but it is they that have worked with meager resources and almost single-handedly created an African-American professional class and legions of productive citizens," Neal said.

Kentucky State was established as the State Normal School for Colored Persons in 1886 and Simmons emerged as an official liberal arts college in 1890.

Gov. Beshear also attended the event and called on all Kentuckians to remember not only notable African-American citizens, but those who have been forgotten by history.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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