By Sahar Chmais
BUDA – Buda Black History Celebration 2.0 kicks off on Feb. 20, with a theme different from last year’s. Unlike the year prior, the event will be virtual to keep in line with COVID-19 safety precautions.
The celebration will be broadcast from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the Buda Black History Celebration Facebook page. Within those two hours, Ray Bryant, Buda’s first Black city council member, and his son, Derrick David Bryant, councilman in Lockhart, will MC the event. There will be an array of talented performers, from singers to jazz musicians, speaking engagements from Black sororities and fraternities, ballet dancers and a reading of the book “All Because You Matter.”
Performances during the online event.
While the program fits in a multitude of talents in its two hours, there is more to think about and celebrate during Black History Month.
This year’s Black History Month theme will be “Lift Every Voice.” Behind that theme lies the idea of empowering young people to lift their voice and to have the necessary hope and strength to overcome obstacles, explained Sandra Bryant, who received the Black History Month Proclamation Tuesday, Feb. 2.
“I am honored to have been chosen to receive the proclamation,” Sandra Bryant said. “It is important for Buda and Hays County to bring awareness and educate the community. Hays is changing, and one of the mottos I think about is ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’”
Besides lifting the voices of the young, Sandra Bryant said she wants the community to recognize the impact and voices of Black residents, beyond the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Often these are the mainstream examples society learns about, but there are many more who continue to contribute to society.
One place to look is within local representation, whether by recognizing their work or growing that representation as Hays County continues to expand and evolve. Sandra Bryant, the first and only Black woman to serve on Hays CISD School Board of Trustees, spoke of examples close to home.
Vanessa Westbrook, CEO and Founder of Westbrook and Consulting Services, Ray Bryant and Denisha Presley, first Black principal in Hays CISD, were a few of the impactful names she boasted.
If a person does not like the way things are running and wants to see a difference, Sandra Bryant encourages them to go out and make that change.