Black History Month Celebration Highlights State's Traditionally Black Schools

Feb 5, 2014

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

State Sen. Gerald Neal introduces the themes of this year's Black History Month celebration at the Capitol.
Credit Josh James / WUKY

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.