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City to host Black History Month event

The Madera Tribune File Photo

Madera Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans will host the second annual Black History Month Celebration next Saturday at McNally Park, beginning at 3 p.m.


Madera Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans will host the City of Madera’s second annual Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 6 at McNally Park.

Evans, who originally had the event scheduled for Feb. 13, is hoping for a big turnout for the second event.

“I don’t know what to expect with the crowd. COVID was in the process during last year’s,” she said. “All I can do is pray. it’s outside at McNally Park, again. I pray they will come and wear their masks. I cant speak on the number because it’s so unpredictable.”

Evans originally scheduled the event for Feb. 13, but it conflicted with a major sporting event the same day and had to reschedule.

“After receiving so many calls from gentleman saying that it’s Super Bowl Sunday, I was requested by the City Manager and other individuals to change the date,” she said. “Because of speaker that we have, she couldn’t make it Feb. 20. I asked and she had Feb. 6 available. I switched it to make sure my powerhouse speaker will be there.”

Last year’s event was held at the same time, but since the celebration will be held at the beginning of the month, it allows other organizations to celebrate Black History Month.

“I try to be at the middle of the month to let other people have time to do things for Black History Month,” she said “This time, we’re coming out the first weekend of the month so everyone else has time to do what they want to do for Black History Month.”

Yvonne Neely from Mt. Zion Church will open the proceedings, followed by Stanley Mackey on the trumpet.

State Senator Ana Caballero’s aide, Joyce Dale, will recite a poem.

Madera Mayor Santos Garcia will be presenting a proclamation.

Evans and her Black Saints United group will be honoring 104-year-old Alma Riggins at the event. In addition, Riggins’ church, Second Baptist, will also be honored for celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“We have a young lady singing Precious Lord, from Second Baptist Church,” Evans said. “We will have other dignitaries present certificates and proclamations.”

The guest speaker is Marie Byrd-Harris, a professor at Madera Community College.

“Bring out your lawn chairs, bring out their food if they wish,” Evans said. “Everything is the same, except it’s 2022. I just pray we have a good turnout.”

Evans estimates that more than 100 people turned out for last year’s event in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and hopes for just as many, if not more people last than year.

“We had a nice turnout last year,” she said. “If we have it, fine, if we don’t, whoever comes is who God wanted to be there and to receive the message we will be delivering.”

Evans also notes that there will be water and snacks available after the celebration.


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