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Celebrate Black History Month in February

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Many African Americans are a part of the history of the Dixon community, which should be remembered as we celebrate Black History Month during February.

In governmental service, they have served on the city council, city commissions and boards, township government, Lee County Board, and some I am probably neglecting to mention. Many of these Dixonites marched off and fought for this country in World Wars I and II and all wars since. 

Our African American citizens have served with distinction in the area of education, playing a significant role in the religious and secular schooling of young Dixonites in preschool, grade and high school, and Sauk Valley Community College. They have and are continuing to contribute to Dixon history.

Whether it was the close friendship between a young Winston “Wink”’ McReynolds and a boy named Ronald Reagan, or black athletes providing football, basketball, and other Dixon sports fans great entertainment, or adults providing leadership in all areas of society, African Americans are to be appreciated and applauded for their contribution to the history of life in Dixon. 

I urge all of us to reflect on and celebrate Black History.

The Next Picture Show Fine Arts Center will have an exhibit of African American art from Feb. 11 through April 5. The Dixon Public Library has a special display of interesting black history books available for checkout.

Books on First has a wide array of books on exhibit from pre-Civil War authors to contemporary historians, including local author Larry Jones.

For myself, I will read one book in February on black history, as I do every year. This year I purchased “Great Speeches by African Americans.”

I invite all Dixon area residents, young and old, to join me in selecting a book and learning more about black history. It is a captivating subject well worth your time. 

Note to readers: Jim G. Burke is the mayor of Dixon.

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