LAWTON, OK(KSWO)-Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch hosted the city's annual proclamation signing ceremony declaring February as Black History Month. Monday night's ceremony at City Hall featured an emotional speech by Cameron professor, Doctor Marco Columbus, who implored the crowd to recognize the challenge before them.
"There's work that needs to be done, to protect our children, to help them grow," said Dr. Columbus.
Mayor Fitch also addressed the crowd, and led the formal signing of the proclamation by several city leaders, including Fort Sill Commander Major General John Rossi, Cameron University President Doctor John McArthur, Bishop John Dunaway, President of the Lawton Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Lawton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Deighan, James Smith, President of the Lawton/Fort Sill Pan-Hellenic Council, and Pastor Willie Guest, President of the Lawton/Ft. Sill NAACP branch.
Mayor Fitch said the cross-section of leaders illustrates the diversity in the community, and the common goal of keeping the dream of the civil rights movement alive.
"We need to keep those people in mind, the people that shaped and molded the country we live in, and unifying our effort as one community, we all work together, doesn't matter what the color is, but we all work together to strive to have a better community," said Fitch.
This is the first of about a dozen events planned this month in the city in recognition of Black History Month.