Celebrating Black History Month

On Feb. 28, our chapter presented a robust program and art exhibit dedicated to Black migrations, acknowledging the forces affecting thousands to move and the long-lasting impact on African Americans, the nation and the world.

The Benjamin Banneker Chapter of Blacks in Government chose a theme that is being promoted this year by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which is the “premier Black Heritage learned society with a strong network of national and international branches and partners whose diverse and inclusive membership will continue the [Dr. Carter G.] Woodson legacy.” Woodson, an author and historian, was one of the founders of ASALH, which was established in 1915.

“Beginning in the early decades of the twentieth century, African American migration patterns included relocation from southern farms to southern cities; from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West; from the Caribbean to US cities as well as to migrant labor farms; and the emigration of noted African Americans to Africa and to European cities, such as Paris and London, after the end of World War I and World War II,” according to ASALH.

“Such migrations resulted in a more diverse and stratified interracial and intra-racial urban population amid a changing social milieu, such as the rise of the Garvey movement in New York, Detroit, and New Orleans; the emergence of both black industrial workers and black entrepreneurs; the growing number and variety of urban churches and new religions; new music forms like ragtime, blues, and jazz; white backlash as in the Red Summer of 1919; the blossoming of visual and literary arts, as in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Paris in the 1910s and 1920s.”

Stacy T. Holmes explains how Black Migrations impacted different industries, institutions globally, noting how many innovators through the years were raised in families that moved or were descendants of those families.

The program at GSA featured Stacy T. Holmes of the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment. an Emmy Award Winning, Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) Editor and producer/director with over 35 years of experience. Holmes is also an on-air talent, voice-over artist, graphic designer and editor.  

The Rochester, N.Y.-native is known localy for also delivering a universal message of motivational inspiration, merging the traditional “just the facts ma’am” presentation with his distinctive “in-your-face” style. 

In addition, he was the owner and operator of Studio3South in the early 2000s, a video production company serving clients from commercial to nonprofit, government and faith-based organizations.  Many of the projects he worked on have won a variety of industry awards, climaxing in 2018 with a Regional Emmy Award for a weekly talk show produced in Washington, D.C. that he edited.

Benjamin Banneker Chapter President Monica Hedgspeth, left, and Benjamin Banneker Chapter Vice President Pia Scott, right, present GSA Administrator Emily Murphy a certificate recognizing her support of the Blacks In Government chapter.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy also offered remarks about African American history and her commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion.

She is a consistent supporter of the Benjamin Banneker chapter including participating in its annual agency forum during Blacks in Government‘s premier training and development program the National Training Institute. She noted that she’s looking forward to the next NTI in August in Dallas.

When I became GSA Administrator, one of the first groups that reached out to me was the Benjamin Banneker Chapter of BIG. That really meant a lot to me — and our relationship has grown from there. #BIGRXIBBC

The program also featured moving and inspiring musical selections and certificate presentations to GSA employees who contributed to the excellent planning and execution of the event on Feb. 28. Outside of the auditorium, guests also viewed a detailed art exhibition showcasing aspects of African American history and culture.

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