Memphis Field Office Celebrates Black History Month

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Memphis Field Office celebrated Black History Month. This year's theme was "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas." The Memphis Office Committee, which was chaired by Donzaleigh Frazier, Office of the Chief Information Office (OCIO) coordinated the activities.

The activities included Black History Month daily facts delivered via email and a trivia competition.

A Lunch and Learn was held in the Recovery Room where the movie Mr. & Mrs. Loving was shown. This true story took place in the 60's where in many states; interracial marriages were not only shocking, they were outlawed. Arrested on their wedding night and exiled by a bigoted southern judge, this young couple begins an extraordinary journey to return to their families and to live in dignity fighting all the way to the United States Supreme Court for justice.

The culmination was a luncheon held at the historic Four Way Grill a local soul food restaurant. We were honored to have Dr. David L. Acey, Sr. as this year's speaker. Dr. Acey is an Assistant Professor of African American Rhetoric and Interracial Communication at the University of Memphis in the Department of Communication. Dr. Acey was formally Director of African American Studies at the University and developed several Afrocentric courses currently taught in the department. As a result of his continued commitment to improve communication between different ethnic groups, fostering respect and academic excellence, Dr. Acey organizedand currently serves as Executive Director ofthe Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc., a non-profit organization, in it's 21st year, designed to celebrate multi-cultural ethnicity and diversity.Each year a different African country is selected showcasing a multiplicity of mediums. Dr. Acey emphasized the importance of people of all races knowing their history. "As African Americans we must educate our children and empower them with the knowledge of our heritage." Bwendolyn Scott, Public Housing Revitalization Specialist provided her rendition of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise; Janet Estey, MultiFamily Project Manager, had her banjo on hand and told of the origin of the banjo in Africa; and PIH Division Director Arnold Peoples' melodic voice graced us with "I Won't Complain."

A special presentation was made to Phyllis White-Abdullah, Program Assistant, 2007 Black History Month Trivia Winner. Also a prize was presented to William Glass, and Marjorie George for correctly answering impromptu questions at the luncheon.

[Photo 1: Yvonne Leander, Dr. David L. Acey, Sr.and Donzaleigh Frazier]
Yvonne Leander, Memphis Field Office Director; Dr. David L. Acey, Sr.; Donzaleigh Frazier, IT Specialist.
[Photo 2: William Glass and Phyllis White-Abdulla]
Facilities Manager William Glass and 2007 Black History Month Trivia Winner ,Phyllis White-Abdulla, Program Assistant. Not pictured � Marjorie George.

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