Honoring black lawmakers who came before, while looking toward the future
The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and Governor Asa Hutchinson kicked of Black History Month Friday at the Capitol.
Folks came together with an overwhelming sense of unity and celebration. The Philander Smith Choir preformed as did students from Central High School.
Governor Hutchinson addressed the crowd and said he wants to see more African-American representation in the legislature.
"Your representation and your voice should increase in the Arkansas General Assembly and not decrease, and I say that because we have re-apportionment coming up in a couple years," said Gov. Hutchinson.
"I was encouraged to hear that. I didn't know he was going to say that, but that's great that he's thinking about it. Obviously, yes, we're thinking about it, talking about it, but with the numbers as they are we are always aware of who has those decisions. But, in a situation like this when you have that kind of leadership, that the Governor has always shown since he's been the governor, that he wants to include us and be diverse," said Rep. Reginald Murdock.
Right now, African-American's make up about 11% of lawmakers.
"We need to have role models that look like us. That's very important. That's how I was raised. I made sure that I had black doctors, black teachers, just to see that I could be anything that I want to be," said Central High student, Norel Mcadoo.
Norel was one of three students who wrote and preformed a poem about the Little Rock Nine for the celebration.
Check out the showstopping performance by Norel Mcadoo, Chauncey Williams-Wesley and Treylin Crawford.