BIG COUNTRY, Texas (BigCountryHomepage.com) – From Abilene to Brownwood, and everything in between, Black history in the Big Country is rich. Throughout the month of February, Big Country Homepage (BCH) dived into our stories for Black History Month.
We began Black History Month with an incredible sports legacy out of Abilene Christian University (ACU), as Super Bowl LVII quickly approached. KTAB/KRBC exclusively sat down with former ACU football legend, Cleotha Montgomery on his journey to West Texas, and to the top of the football world as Super Bowl XVIII champion.
Art can be a transformative experience, a language to share memories that live outside our own. The Brownwood Art Association used the month of February to highlight stories that, too often, go untold. This Black History Month, the museum proudly displayed the Coretta Scott King award-winning books and art on loan from the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, along with photography of Louisiana done by center president, Anthony Reine.
When you think beauty and haircare, it’s typical that your go-to might be chains like Sally’s and Ulta. But many chains just can’t cater to the needs of people of color.
“You’re bringing them somewhere where their hair is celebrated. There’s this whole store… Just specifically for their hair, and it’s a good experience,” said Abilene native Jetquetta Glacken of her rise to diversify the area’s beauty and haircare market.
The history of most cities can be charted by the people who settled down and began to build an economic base. From there, prosperity abounds until a community is formed. But for every story of success, you can likely find a story of potential squandered. Would-be businesspeople of the past kept from their success by the cultural ideals of their time, and the color of their skin.
“The Abilene Chamber of commerce [at that time], was not really a friendly place,” explained Floyd Miller, Abilene businessman and Vice President of the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce.
People of color in the 1970s were not lacking an ounce of potential, as according to Miller, but were in dire need of the opportunity to succeed.
Teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry; teach a man to learn and there’s no telling what he’ll achieve. This was the mindset of a few good men and women in 1890s Brown County. But at the time, segregation left little to no opportunities for young African Americans to receive a formal education.
A professor’s words in the classroom can change a student’s life in seconds. For Professor of English at ACU, Dr. Steven Moore, he’s impacting his students in the class and hundreds of others on the chapel stage by sharing his testimony of racial discrimination in order to create a more unified campus and country.
From the variations of beans and rice to fried chicken and the seasonings – soul food has told the story of many African American families over the years. For Dr. Malcolm and Bridgitt Scott, owners of the Essence of Soul Food, it means heritage, connection and so much more.