Lighting up the skies in the heart of the community at the historic Vernon Dahmer Park on Saturday, March 5, 2022 for the first time in the history of Hattiesburg as a final tribute to celebrate Black History Month as well as to honor the life of a 6-year-old shot to death in a drive by shooting was all thanks to Dean McCrary Kia of Hattiesburg.
The 23rd Celebration began with its famous Black History Parade featuring several groups, judges, organizations, public officials and even Camp Shelby Military's Youth Challenge Cadets, baseball & basketball tournaments, a picnic, and ended with a special live performance by Traprunna Reko followed by the well anticipated fireworks show had countless of kids screaming to the top of their lungs in overjoy and excitement.
The car giant in Hattiesburg showed up major time to show it's clearly not only embedded in the community, but also the leader of the Greater Hattiesburg community, especially the African American community, as it sits on the corner of Broadway Drive & Timothy Lanes, only a few blocks from where the official Black History Celebrations took place.
"Anything I can do to help uplift this community where Dean McCrary reside and this city where where Dean McCrary do business is a hands down yes!" said General Manager Bryce Lindgren. "Helping to honor the life of a 6 year old on top of celebrating Black History Month as 1,000's come together for this annual tradition is what Dean McCrary is all about, especially the kids!"
Dean McCrary leading as the event sponsor set a new standard for the business community to follow as often times many businesses don't always contribute to the communities they live in, especially in a significant way. The event was surrounded by many businesses, including African American owned establishments, but as with alot of diversity events or programs, they don't often time feel the need to support within their own community, neither do they feel the repercussions as their lack of support goes unnoticed.
The Law Office of DaCarla Hood was the 2nd biggest sponsor of the Black History Celebrations '22. The honorable DaCarla Hood served as the longtime Senior Assistant District Attorney for Forrest & Lamar Counties. His office is located down the street from Dean McCrary on Pine Street.
This year's honoree was Lieutenant Colonel Raylawni Branch, the 1st African American student to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. This year's executive committee included, Derrian Moye (Chairman), Councilman Nick Brown (Co-Chairman), Pastor James Fenton (Secretary), Eugene Hobson (Co-Secretary/Military Liaison), Reggie Taylor (Educational Director) & Kenny Johnson (Public Safety Director).