Black History Month is celebrated every February, which is why the Santa Maria-Lompoc branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held an event to celebrate Black culture.
On Saturday afternoon, the local NAACP chapter along with the City of Santa Maria’s Public Library invited community members to an event that featured speeches, dances and poetry that highlighted the history of African-American culture. Attendees gathered at the plaza in front of the Santa Maria Library.
"It's important that we remember the history, you can't erase it, you can't erase the past that is why it's called history,” said Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt, President of the Santa Maria-Lompoc NAACP branch. “It happened it happened so we want to remember it, but we also want to inspire the future, we want to celebrate and then we move forward."
The NAACP was founded in 1909, and it seeks to eliminate racial discrimination and ensure the civil rights of all people.
The Santa Maria-Lompoc chapter was established in 1974. The organization hosts multiple events throughout the year to empower African-Americans.
During the pandemic, they have held vaccine outreach efforts to inform the community about COVID-19.