Bullock Memorial Center to celebrate Black History Month

By Curtis Awbrey / Bullock Memorial Center
 To honor Black History Month — held each February in the U.S. since 1976 — Chickasha’s Bullock Memorial Community Center will host its annual celebration luncheon.
 Originally launched as Negro History Week in 1926, Black History Month was officially recognized in the U.S. by President Gerald Ford fifty years later.
 From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Bullock Memorial Center, 917 S. 1st St., volunteers will serve Indian tacos with all the trimmings, a dessert and a drink in exchange for a $10 per-plate donation.
 “Black history is realizing that our history didn’t begin with slavery; however, it was interrupted by slavery. Educating ourselves and future generations about the valuable contributions of those who paved the way is a way to pass the baton so our history should never be forgotten,” said committee member Keosha Ritchie.
 Committee member Secrett Taylor stated Black History Month acknowledges and celebrates the impact and the contributions Black have given the world and serves as an example of what people can accomplish despite the barriers and difficulties they face.
 The Bullock Memorial Community Center was established to commemorate Dr. W. A. J. Bullock, a physician and surgeon who saw both Black and white patients during the 1920s and ’30s. He championed for equality and often spoke at city council meetings. A strong proponent for education, Dr. Bullock wrote a letter of recommendation lending his support to Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher, the first Black woman accepted to the University of Oklahoma Law School.
 “The Bullock,” as it is commonly referred to, has a longstanding tradition of being a community center with roots. Reminiscing committee member Zelma Anikputa said, “There was always a sense of love and unity — in the food, crafts we made, everything. We felt as though we belonged. Mrs. Nan Moore taught us how to sew and how to do all kind of crafts. Ms. Pauline Wimberly made peanut butter cookies and helped us with homework.”
 Funds raised by the nonprofit organization support arts, education and tutoring programs for area children.
 “We are so grateful to those who continually support Dr. Bullock’s mission to educate the youth and provide an understanding of community for everyone,” said committee co-chair Charlotte Oliver.
 In the interest of public health, patrons are asked to wait in their vehicles as volunteers take orders and serve.
 For more details, call or text Charlotte Oliver at (405) 274-6268, Zelma Anikputa at (405) 905-7715 or email chickashabullock@gmail.com.