BROWNWOOD – March 27, 2013 – Howard Payne University celebrated Black History Month with a special chapel service held last month. The second annual service focused on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation signing and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, in which an estimated 250,000 people demonstrated peacefully in the nation’s capital for civil rights and economic equality. Members of the African-American chapter of HPU’s Alumni Association, alongside current students, presented poetry, music and stories during the service titled “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”
The spirited celebration included congregational singing, readings by students and alumni and a powerful solo by Shirley Sanders ’72 of Texas City – which drew a standing ovation from the audience – all with the purpose of educating students about important milestones in our nation’s history related to the journey of African-Americans.
Ne’Lexia Galloway ’11 of San Antonio, president of the African-American alumni chapter, said about the chapel program, “African-American cultural history cannot be defined, but it is our civic duty as African-Americans to spread the history for the betterment of America. I am pleased to know that Howard Payne takes pride in Black History Month and believes in making the student body knowledgeable of America’s history.”
Other program participants included L.J. Clayton ’84 of San Antonio; Deborah Jones ’73 of Texas City; Adelia Kirk ’89 of Brownwood; Carol (Liz) Mahoney ’69 of Texas City; Gladys Murray ’80 of Austin; and Wilbert Rogers ’75 of Dallas. Student participants included Kalari Faultry, a sophomore from Houston; Jennifer Goff, a junior from Austin; Gabriella Guest, a sophomore from Midlothian; Jajuan Johnson, a sophomore from Fort Worth; Amber Jones, a junior from Rosenberg; Miriam Mackey, a junior from Taylor; Jeremy Perkins, a junior from Alexandria, La.; Richard Porche, a sophomore from Kyle; Zacchaeus Steidel-Santiago, a sophomore from San Antonio; and Nicholas Stubblefield, a freshman from Prairie View.
“It was once again a pleasure to work with our African-American alumni chapter on this important chapel celebration,” said Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students. “We must never lose sight of the difficult road trodden by the African-American community in our nation’s history, and so it is fitting that we recognize Black History Month in this special way.”
Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Zacchaeus Steidel-Santiago sings “If I Can Help Somebody” during the university’s second annual Black History Month chapel service. Photo by Jes Miera, HPU junior.