Muskogee’s fifth annual black history program, titled “Sharing our Legacy,” was presented Feb. 15, 2014, in the Grant Foreman Room of Muskogee Public Library. It provided a myriad of information, entertainment and historical relevancy.
Approximately 40 people attended the program, which featured musical performances by Edward Warren and Muriel Saunders, presentations by ShIronbutterfly and Oscar Ray, and a keynote presentation by Freeman Culver, a history instructor at Connors State College.
Culver said his presentation was intended to share the legacy African-Americans have brought to the country.
“Obviously, I can’t address the whole of African-American history,” Culver said. “But I can tell you why it’s important to study black history. I also gave a timeline of key highlights in history that have affected us as Americans.”
Culver also said he studies African-American history through the lens of religion, because that provides him with a “safe route.”
“If you truly want to study the African descendant people in America, you have to start with the church,” he said. “That church at one time was an invisible institution.”
Culver used a slide show to present the timeline, works of literature that he felt should be read by students before they finish high school, and to play a game called “Who Am I?” in which the audience was given an opportunity to guess a person’s identity based on clues.
Culver also addressed the youth of America, saying that some of them have a false confidence, currently known as “swag.”
“Confidence, to me, is knowing that your people have contributed to society just as much as anyone else,” he said. “This is part of your history. Of black history. Of American history.”
By Travis Sloat