RALEIGH, NC – Legacy became the theme for Raleigh’s Black History month celebration, with the City honoring more than a dozen local, black-owned businesses for their history of community engagement over the last 25 years. The “Celebrating Legacies” event was presented by the City’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department and hosted by ABC Channel 11 reporter, Tamara Gibbs. The event was held at the Tarboro Road Community Center on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Gibbs opened the segment with a moving sentiment regarding the importance of Black History Month and its relevance to the history of America. “It is not just Black history; it is everyone’s history,” Gibbs said, going on to address the term ‘legacy.’ She said it expressed the unique gift that comes from knowing and appreciating one’s history. Further, she encouraged attendees to reflect on what they want to leave behind and how they want to be remembered.
The honorees were each given a certificate of recognition and a pin by Raleigh Mayor McFarlane. Those businesses recognized were: The Becton Law Group, PLLC, Brown Realty, Clinkscales Daycare, Currie Law Firm, Gospel King Records, Grips Babershop, Holland & Holland Eye Care Center, Law Offices of Amos Link, LeCount’s Catering, Pearson’s Insurance, Poe Rental Properties, Poole’s Salon of Beauty, Raleigh Urgent Care Center, Telza & Johnny Perry Real Estate, Tri-City Realty, WakeMed, and White’s Barbershop. The last to receive recognition was Treshawn Boyd, a 15-year-old youth honoree who has long been involved with the Saint Monica Teen Center.
Gibbs shared the stage with a panel of other community leaders including Mayor McFarlane; James West, Wake County Commissioner of District 5; Venessa Harrison, President, AT&T NC; Donald R. Gintzig, CEO, WakeMed Health & Hospitals; Harvey Schmitt, CEO, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; and Raleigh Councilman Eugene Weeks, as well as representatives from the offices of Senators Kay Hagen and Richard Burr, and Wake County Board of Education. AT&T’s Harrison underscored Gibbs’ point regarding the importance of black history every day, reaffirming AT&T’s commitment to the community and the shared understanding of giving back. WakeMed’s Gintzig, who took to the podium after Harrison, brought forth a resounding laugh from the audience with his clarification of his whiteness. “Now, I’m not black, but this is our history,” Gintzig said, emphasizing the word ‘our.’ “Legacy is a gift, just as WakeMed is a gift to the community.” Schmitt congratulated the honorees and acknowledged the level of difficulty in being successful as a small business. “They say it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert; and if that is the case, these individuals are experts 10 times over,” said Schmitt.
Local community activist, Octavia Rainey, was also on hand to address the attendees. Gibbs returned to the podium to further make note of Rainey’s dedication, stating, “Octavia’s feet are firmly planted in her community and her history, but her hands are always reaching out and above to the leaders of the community.” Area resident Charmey Morgan sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” during which the entirety of the room stood, with many singing along with her. She also performed “Amazing Grace.”
Following the awards ceremony, attendees lunched on North Carolina barbeque and mingled with the honorees.
By Lindsay Glosson