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Monday, April 15, 2024
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McAllen
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Recognizing Black History Month

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Commissioner Ellie Torres and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court commemorated Black History Month during yesterday’s Commissioners Court meeting by issuing a proclamation acknowledging the significance and countless contributions of African Americans to our society. Courtesy Image
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Commissioner Ellie Torres and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court commemorated Black History Month during yesterday’s Commissioners Court meeting by issuing a proclamation acknowledging the significance and countless contributions of African Americans to our society. The first official observance came in February 1976 from President Gerald Ford and continues to be observed by every sitting President of the United States. February was the month specifically chosen to coincide with the birthdays of two prominent figures in African American history: President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Black History Month celebrates the rich culture, heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of our country’s history; and Black History Month affords special opportunity to become more knowledgeable about black heritage, and to honor the many black leaders who have contributed to the progress of our nation, and to reaffirm our commitment to achieve an ever-advancing prosperity for all people. 

“Black History Month is an important opportunity to honor and celebrate the achievements and contributions African Americans have made, and continue to make, in the County of Hidalgo, the State of Texas, and across the Nation,”stated Commissioner Ellie Torres.

Additionally, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court heard from Dr. Ray Howard, a community organizer and the Precinct 4 Appointee to the Hidalgo County Historical Commission, who announced the creation of the Valley African American Cultural Heritage Council (VAACHC) in Hidalgo County.  Collaborating closely with Precinct 4, Dr. Howard spearheaded the effort to work alongside the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office to draft bylaws and establish the organizational framework of the VAACHC. Special thanks goes out to Asst. District Attorney Victor Garza and Leigh Ann Tognetti, Assistant District Attorney, Civil Division for their guidance. The purpose of the Valley African American Cultural Heritage Council shall be to advise the Commissioners Court of Hidalgo County, assist the Hidalgo County Historical Commission, and to initiate and conduct programs in the promotion of preserving the county’s African American historic and cultural resources. The work of the VAACHC is not to duplicate the work of other historical preservation efforts in the county, but rather to complement and encourage this work. 

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Dr. Howard will collaborate with local leaders to convene and elect officers for the official organization of the council. “Today we rise together a little bit higher in how we recognize and value our respective histories, and we stand stronger together in our resolve to protect, preserve and celebrate our diverse cultures and contributions to our society,” stated Dr. Ray Howard.  A message was sent to Dr. Howard from Ms. Tanya Debose, Executive Director of the Texas African American Culture and Heritage Council located in Houston, TX stating, “We are very excited and proud of the great work being done in the Rio Grande Valley to join our statewide efforts to discover, document and preserve the valued contributions African Americans, in particular, have made through years in Texas. Our collective efforts and achievements will make us all better for it.” 

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