The 2023 “Moments in African American History” Program Recognizes Excellence

Kevin’s Gallery

The Concerned Citizens Association of Natchitoches hosted its annual “Moments in African American History” awards ceremony Wednesday, February 15 at Natchitoches’ Martin Luther King Center. The focus of the ceremony was to recognize an accomplished group of six local leaders who have excelled in a wide variety of endeavors.

The event was emceed by Mr. Johnny Barnes, President of The Concerned Citizens of Natchitoches. One noteworthy aspect of the program was the superb talent on display from our community’s young people. Brylie Gates, a 6th grader at East Natchitoches, performed a stunning rendition of the National Anthem and Kylee Hickman, an 8th grader at Natchitoches Magnet, gave a superb speech on the accomplishments of African-Americans in various fields of endeavor throughout our nation’s history.

The 2023 awardees were:

Mr. Ronnie Evans
Reverend Aill Harris
Reverend Steven Harris
Mrs. Linda Queen
Mrs. Elnora Robertson
Ms. Sonnia Steele

There was a common theme throughout the evening as each person honored gave thanks to those who went before and laid a foundation for their success. Indeed, all of us owe a debt to the men and women of the past who, when faced with injustice, came back with hard work and excellence. It was an honor to meet Mrs. Elnora Robertson and be in the presence of a true American hero.

The program also featured several young adults who sang, played the piano and did a mime performance. The mime performance was dedicated to the memory of Harriet Tubman. One of the lyrics of the accompanying song stuck in my mind. “I’m going to stand up, take my people with me.” That lyric summed up the work of the people honored at the ceremony. Our city, state, and nation are better because of these men and women.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the evening’s photography. All are welcome to download any they wish.