Lesson Gives History Across Cultural Lines

People all over the country are continuing their celebration of black history month. February is the birth month of Frederick Douglas as well as Abraham Lincoln, the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It's also the month that the NAACP was founded.

Now one church is recognizing the achievements of African-Americans with a special program.  Morning Star Baptist Church gave a lesson on heritage. A lesson some never received inside the classroom.

"We learned about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, but we didn't learn about Charles Drew," said Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins.

Collins is teaching that message, beginning with the congregation at Morning Star Baptist Church.

"Black history is American history, and you can't understand American history without understanding the parts that go with it," said Collins.

The commissioner became a part of that history when Governor Haley Barbour named him the first black General in the Mississippi National Guard.

Now, he says because of the break-down of the black family, it is up to the black church to educate the community on the history of its people.

"The greatest civil rights worker that every walked this earth, was a man by the name of Jesus," said Dr. Lewis E. Ragins, pastor of Morningstar.

The pastor says the goal of this year's ceremony is to reach beyond just black and white. Now, he's praying the message from Commissioner Collins will resonate on the hearts and minds of all cultures.

Morning Star Baptist Church held two black history ceremonies Sunday. Attorney Reilly Morse was also a speaker at one of the services.