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Black History Month events set

Black History Month will be observed nationally during the month of February and many local schools and organizations will celebrate with events during the month.

First celebrated during a week in 1926 and expanded to a month in 1976, Black History Month is an opportunity for each person to recognize the historical and current contributions of black Americans to society, according to africanamericanhistorymonth.gov.

Proclamation signing

The celebration will kick off with the signing of the Black History Month proclamation sponsored by Lawton Public Schools at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lawton High School cafeteria. Among the community members attending will be Lawton Public Schools Superintendent Tom Deighan, Lydia Young, president of the National Pan Hellenic Council of Lawton-Fort Sill; Fort Sill Commander Maj. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner; Bishop John Dunaway of the Lawton Ministerial Alliance, Cameron University President John McArthur; and Mayor Fred Fitch. The proclamation will be presented by local high school ROTC programs.

Barbara Ellis, assistant superintendent of human resources for Lawton Public Schools, said this year's theme is "African Americans in Times of War." 

Teen conferences

The African American Heritage Month Teen Conference will be at 1-3:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at MacArthur Middle School and Eisenhower Middle School. The conference session will also be at 1:30 p.m. Feb 8. at Central Middle School and Tomlinson Middle School. Keynote speakers will be Debra Antley, military veteran; Davidson Virgil, MacArthur High School science teacher and military veteran; Michael Turner, local minister; and Michael Forrest, military veteran. The conference is available for 40 students for each school who return with permission slips.

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