'It Takes A Village' program in downtown South Bend, Black History Month in Michiana

NOW: ’It Takes A Village’ program in downtown South Bend, Black History Month in Michiana


SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- February marks Black History Month, and within the first week, local organizations are holding and planning events dedicated to celebrating Black history in the community. Many people came out to the St. Joseph County Public Library to listen to influential African Americans at a program called “It Takes A Village”.

Women Entrepreneurs Matter sponsored and held the event on Sunday, as a part of Black History Month in South Bend. Many of the speakers at the program shared personal stories about how they overcame and continue to overcome struggles as an African American. People that attended the event say that they thought it was inspiring, and something they could take away from the program.

“You don’t know a person’s story until they let you know,” says Tammie Acoff, an attendee at the event. “You don’t know people, but you have to be friendly, present yourself as a friend. Because you don’t know nobody’s story until you get to know them.”

Other elements of the program include a fashion show featuring African garments from a local African boutique, Unique Boutique International. There was also a focus on reaching the youth in the Black community; getting them involved and highlighting their talents.

“A lot of kids need to see that that is going on with people their age, with their peers,” says Acoff. “That there’s some positive stuff out there that they can get involved in.”

Moving forward with Black History Month, youth performer at the event David Smith says that this program and the many more to come this month serve as a way to simply celebrate the Black community.

“I just really feel like it’s just for us to celebrate who we are now, celebrate us people,” says Smith. “Instead of focusing on all of the bad things, focus on what could be good nowadays.”

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