Written by Floyd Galloway
The All God’s Children Collector’s Club of Arizona held their annual Black History Month celebration. Held February 28, at the Phoenix Doubletree Suites, the program honored several community servants.
The presentation of the: Notable African-American Men and Women of Arizona Event – “Let Freedom Ring”, featured South Mountain Justice of the Peace, Cody Williams as the keynote speaker. Paying homage to the AGC Collectors Club, Justice Williams noted their work in honoring people of the community and sharing Black History was significant and valuable. In his address, “Build Bridges, Not Walls”, Justice Williams said when you build a bridge you build a connection, you build understanding and the ability to work together. In today’s world, too many people are focused on building walls, isolating themselves and not working together. This brings on misunderstandings, dissention, ill feelings and animosity.”
He told the audience, not to be afraid to be Black and to do good things for Black people. “Be a voice for change in a positive way. And never, ever, ever, be concerned about ‘why we celebrate Black History’, because some of the greatest advances to the world have come because of the success, hard works of Black people. They have contributed to this society.”
“We can’t be satisfied with just being a part of the puzzle, but we have to make sure we are building bridges so that the next generations will have someone standing before you, who this organization believes is worthy of being recognized as someone who cares about all God’s Children,” said Williams.
The program was filled with numerous highlights, including the strong singing by Jesse Washington and presentations of colors by the Official Centennial Buffalo Soldiers of the AZ Territory, Ladies & Gentlemen of the Regiment.
Arizona State University nursing student, Jasmine Carter, was presented the inaugural AGC- Mary Mahoney Nursing Scholarship. Mahoney was America’s first Black nurse graduate. Other women honored were: Dr. Angela Allen – A.S.U. College of Nursing and Innovations –The Mary Mahoney Nursing Award; Ms. Henrietta C. Beckford – A.G.C. Collector’s Club of Arizona –Appreciation Award, Ms. Rochelle Candler – President, Black Wall Street Phoenix – Clara Brown Business Woman Award; Deputy Commander Michelle London-Marable – Official Centennial Buffalo Soldiers of the AZ Territory, Ladies & Gentlemen of the Regiment – Harriet Tubman – Female Humanitarian Award
Men honored were: Attorney Marlon Branham: Branham Law Offices – Fredrick Douglas Male Humanitarian award; Mr. Floyd Galloway: AZ Informant Newspaper and President of AGE2 Mgmt. Services and Great Press America – Moses Fleetwood Walker Business Man/Community Activist; Chief of Police Patrick Melvin: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community – Bass Reeves – Law Enforcement Award; and Justice Cody Williams: Maricopa County, South Phoenix Precinct – Community Activist Award.
“It’s ok to be Black. It’s ok to do good things to for Black people. Be bridge builders. Fight the urge to build walls between yourself and others that may see it differently. Fight your fights in an organized way.
Last year the Club celebrated its 20th anniversary – Vera Brooks, Alice Candler and Betty Johnson founded the Club in 1995. They wanted to give back to the community and share the rewarding experiences associated with the acquisition of the “All God’s Children” figurines created by artist, Martha Holcombe-Root. Recognized by the City of Tempe Human Relations Commission with the Martin Luther King Jr. diversity award in 2013, AGC Collector’s Club has supported food drives, school supplies and toy drives.