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We Are Black History

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On Wednesday, January 31, 2022, The City of Hattiesburg replaced the 23rd Annual Famous Black History Parade with the Mardi Gras Parade. After strong push back from the African American Community, the city approved the 30th Anniversary of the Black History Celebrations including the famous Black History Parade, but outside of Black History Month to Saturday, March 5.

Our theme immediately became: "WE ARE BLACK HISTORY!"

As a result, we're encouraging tens of 1,000's of people from around the country and state of Mississippi to show your support for "our civil rights moment" by crowding Martin Luther King Ave at 12:00 NOON on SAT, MARCH 5, 2022.

History: 
Started in February 1992 by Dr. Peggy Answorth, the Black History Celebrations has attracted 1,000's from all across the country to take part in the biggest black history event in the South. Traditionally, 1,000's of parade fans have enjoyed seeing the military, dance teams, schools, and HBCU marching bands in the famous Black History Parade.

Grand Marshal
The Grand Marshal receives what's known as the 'Dr. Peggy Answorth Grand Marshal Award,' what has traditionally been known as the highest award an African American can receive. Past grand marshals have included, Dr. Johnny DuPree, Rep. Percy Watson, Judge Carol Jones Russell, Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, Chancellor Deborah Gambrell, Mr. Vernon C. Floyd, & so many others.

This year's grand marshal is Lieutenant Colonel Raylawni Branch, the first African American to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.

Schedule of Events: 
8:00am - 10:00am- ​Shirt(s) Pick-up at Vernon Dahmer Park

11:00am- Vendors Set-Up at Vernon Dahmer Park

11:45am- Parade participants begin lining-up in front of Martin Luther King Church

12:00 Noon- Public gathers along Martin Luther King Ave by the 1,000's. Roads being blocked off.

1:00pm- 1st Warning of Parade Kickoff

1:15pm- 2nd Warning of Parade Kickoff

1:25pm-Final Warning of Parade Kickoff

1:30pm- Parade starts down Martin Luther King Ave into the back of Vernon Dahmer Park.

3:30pm- Celebration begins at Vernon Dahmer Park immediately after parade.

Parade Route: 
The parade begins in front of Martin Luther King Church, marches down Martin Luther King Ave, turns right onto JC Killingsworth Ave, then takes a left onto Highland Ave marching into the back of the historic Vernon Dahmer Park, (1000 Country Club Rd, Hattiesburg MS,)where 'The Celebration' will begin immediately after the parade.

There will be several dj's lined up along the parade route & at certain 'watch areas' to announce the parade participants as they pass by & to keep the crowd hyped.

The Celebration:
The Celebration include sports tournaments, battle of the bands, award show, guest speakers, live entertainment on stage, and conclude with a fireworks show for community.

There is no cost to be apart of the parade. Just simply sign up. Make your group as big as you want, as loud as you want, and remember, through as much candy and beads as you want.

The Ja'Kryrie Tribute

This year's fireworks show is in honor of Ja'Kryrie Silas, a loving handsome 6 year old who tragically lost his life as a result of a drive-by shooting.

The fireworks will be Saturday at Vernon Dahmer Park, 1,000 Country Club Rd, serving as both awareness to gun violence and as the grand finale of this year's 30th Anniversary of the Black History Celebration.

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Watch real time documentary "Projects" to see the behind the scenes planning of the Black History Celebrations.

GET YOUR SHIRT NOW!

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Order the official "We Are Black History" T-Shirt. Shirts can be picked up at Vernon Dahmer Park between 8-10am on Saturday, March 5 or sooner.

Give Any Amount

 Help power this year's celebrations. You can give any amount that you'd like. Every dollar counts.   Thank You So Much!

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signup for
the parade
for free

This year, our grand marshal leading the famous Black History Parade is Lt. Col. Raylawni Branch (Ret.), the 1st African American student to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Past Grand Marshals

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"Mrs. Branch has been a champion from our community her entire life. As she continues the work of making Hattiesburg a quality place for all, it is fitting that she is honored by being named Grand Marshall."

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Johnny DuPree Ph.D,     Former Mayor

"Mrs. Branch has always been a trailblazer inspiring us all as she always strives to bring out the best in humanity. It's well deserving for such an iconic person to receive such an iconic award"

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Carrol Jones Russell, Youth & County Judge

"Mrs. Branch is most deserving of being honored as Grand Marshal. We are grateful for Mrs. Branch's esteemed military career and continued dedication to our community. She is a true jewel."

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Clarence Magee, President of NAACP

"Congratulation to Mrs. Raylawni Branch for serving as grand marshal. She's been a trailblazer in the area of education and nursing for many young black kids. Thankful for her service to the community."

Deborah Delgado, Hattiesburg City Council

Become A Vendor

The Celebration kicks off immediately after the famous Black History Parade ends with 1,000's of people pouring into Vernon Dahmer Park, 1,000 Country Club Rd.  

Don't miss your chance to sell your products or service at this historic event! Sign Up Today.

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At the end of the parade, live entertainment will kickoff on stage with 1,000's of participants at Vernon Dahmer Park. Bring your best talents to the stage & sign up to perform now!!

Saturday, March 5 @ 12:00

Crowd MARTIN LUTHER KING AVE by the THOUSANDS!!!!!

Famous Black History Parade

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For 23 years, tens of thousands have come from across the country to march in or watch the famous Black History Parade.

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Become An Official Sponsor Now

With the #1 African American event be celebrated this month, you can be apart in helping power this historic event by becoming an official sponsor. There are 6 sponsorship opportunities available.

Give Any amount

Under $500

You can give any amount that you would like to contribute to the Black History Celebrations from $1 to $499.

Moment in history

$500

Every day during Black History Month, we will recognize a historical event that changed our lives forever.

Event

$1,000

Join the celebration by sponsoring "The Celebration", Saturday, Feb 22, commemorating Black History Month.

Museum 

$2,500

The guide of the Black History Month Celebrations & the headquarters year round, become an official sponsor of the museum. 

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$5,000

What better way of recognizing Black History Month than be a sponsor of the annual Black History Celebrations.

Become an official partner

$10, 000

Become an partner of the annual Black History Celebrations as 1,000's of people from across the country take part in this historic occasion.

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The Celebration 

The Celebration, Saturday, March 5, is the only major Black History Celebration event taking place in the City of Hattiesburg, bringing the community together by 1,000's as it's done for the past 30 years. 

The Celebration kicks off with the annual 23rd annual famous Black History Parade at 12:00 Noon on Martin Luther King Ave. Afterwards the conclusion of the parade, the celebration takes place at Vernon Dahmer Park, 1000 Country Club Rd, Hattiesburg, MS.

The Celebration include sports tournaments, an awards ceremony, live entertainment, food, fun and a fireworks show at the end of the night celebrating Black History Month.

The event is free to the public.

Meet The Team
Executive Committee

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Derrian Moye, Chairman 

Derrian, a Man of Morehouse, serves as only the 2nd Chairman in the 30 year history of The Black History Celebrations, presiding over what's considered one of the most influential African American committees in the city.

Derrian's family has been in charge of leading the community's celebrations of African American heritage for the past 30 years.

 

Honored with a Lifetime Achievement Honor by The University of Southern Mississippi as 'Hometown Hero', Derrian has hosted, organized, and created some of the biggest and most successful events in Hattiesburg, MS.

 

He's also the recipient of the Eagle Scout Award, the highest Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Boy Scouts of America.

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Councilman 
Nick Brown,
Co- Chairman

Nick serves as the highest ranking & most powerful elected African American man in the City of Hattiesburg, serving as a member of the Hattiesburg City Council, the most powerful board in the city.

 

Nick represents Ward 5, the largest ward and highest population of African Americans within the City of Hattiesburg.

 

Nick is a successful entrepreneur as well, owning a successful landscaping and trucking company. Nick is married with one son. 

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James Fenton,
Secretary

James serves as the secretary of the executive committee, serving as the spokesman and liaison to the community & media.

James is a successful entrepreneur, owning a financial service business as well as serving as a state agent in the law enforecement community. 

James is married to his beautiful wife MaRhonda Fenton and has one child, James Jr.

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Reggie Taylor,
Education Director

Reggie Taylor, a proud Alpha Phi Alpha, serves as the Educational Director and is the 2nd longest serving member on the Black History Celebrations Executive Committee.

Reggie was been honored multiple times as serving as the first African American Dean of Students of Antonelli College. An educational guru, Reggie currently serves as an educator with the Hattiesburg Public School District. 

Reggie is married to his wife Jessica, and have one daughter together.

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Kenny Johnson, 
Public Safety Director

Kenny Johnson serves as the Public Safety Director of the Black History Celebrations. Kenny has oversaw security for the celebration for multiple years.

Kenny rose to prominence serving as a candidate to become the first African American Sheriff  of Forrest County. Although unsuccessful, Kenny garnered to support of 1,000's within the community as an independent candidate.

Kenny is married to his wife and has children.

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Eugene Hobson, 
Military 
Liaison

Eugene Hobson serves as the Military Liaison of the Black History Celebrations Executive Committee.

Eugene has also served on multiple boards of organizations in the City of Hattiesburg and currently serves as Youth Director of his local church.

Eugene is a retired military veteran but still serves his country and currently has a classified occupation at NASA.

Eugene is happily married to his wife Glenda.