Clubs Celebrate Black History Month

At Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, we celebrated Black History Month across the organization in many ways! Learning about Black history helps young people expand their perspective and advocate for a more equitable future. Take a look at some of the exciting celebrations held at our Clubs!

Kinston Club - Wax Museum

Youth at our Kinston Club held a wax museum fundraiser honoring historical Black icons. Each member dressed as their chosen figure and stood perfectly still until a spectator brought them to life by donating. They then “came to life” and told the story and history of their person!

Beaufort Club - Black History Month Open House Event

Our Beaufort Clubs held a tribute to the history of Queen St. High School and the history of Beaufort. The article below was published in the Carteret News-Times by Maceo Donald, a former Club member.

“The Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Plains (BGCCP) in collaboration with the Eastern Carteret Collaborative (ECC) hosted an open-house event for Black History Month that featured artwork, historical readings and fellowship.

The daylong open-house celebration on Friday was held at the BGCCP Teen Center in Beaufort, which is the last remaining structure that was a part of the original Queen Street High School, which was formerly the only school for Black students in the county.

This aligned with the theme of the event, which was “what it was, what it is, and what it could be.”

“We’re coming up on about 25-plus years that the club has been here, and it’s been home for us for all these years,” said BGCCP Regional Vice President Andrea Nix. “There’s a lot of folks in the community that walk through these doors and have memories. The community is changing, developing, getting older, and we wanted to do our part to bring that history.”

Dozens of photos and pieces of art were gathered by the community and framed for the Black History Celebration.

Most of the images from the Queen Street era were provided by former students, ECC members, and locals whose parents were Queen Street students.

The photography exhibit at the event was by Rosemary Kramer, graduate of CCC’s photography program. Mrs. Kramer took the photographs between 1996 – 2001, focusing on people who worked in the fish houses, at worship and in their Queen Street neighborhood.

Prior to the event, children from the Teen Center created additional works of art honoring Black history.

“Within our culture it’s the conversation between our elders, the aunties and the grandpas that keep the story going,” said Nix. “So, as a Boys & Girls Club organization, if we can keep the story and history going because we’re sharing it with the young people that walk through, who may not even have a connection to the community, but their connection is that this is our Boys & Girls Club.”

Throughout the day, there was an interactive timeline wall, a photography exhibit, historical readings and a chance for past students to share their memories of the school.

Sedricka Courman, director of the Beaufort Teen Center, was one of them. She recounted memories of her middle school days spent at Queen Street and even having to cross the street to get to other classes.

The youth flocked to the facility as soon as school let out for the day, where they provided games, crafts and a Black history educational period as well.

“I would love to see us do something like this again,” said Nix. “I think the word is going to get out and more people may bring more stuff. But I think it’s a good start. If we are trying to tell the history and the story, why not do it every year or find every opportunity to do that.””

Lucille W. Gorham Club - Black History Fair

Lucille W. Gorham Unit hosted a Black History Fair to celebrate Black History and showcase our Club members. The event kicked off with an original spoken word piece from some of our K-2nd grade members titled “We Have a Dream”. Families and visitors were then able to tour our Black History Wax Museum where our members represented African American heroes. When guests placed money into their buckets, members came to life and told their historical figure’s history. Families were also able to tour and bid on member’s artwork in our Fine Arts exhibit and compete in Jeopardy: Black History Edition. 

Grady-White Boats/E.R. Lewis Family Club - Black History Celebration

The Grady-White Boats/ E.R. Lewis Family Club members, parents, and guests from the community came together as they celebrated Black History Month. Members showcased their Black History Month projects, performed the ABC’s of black history, and poems. They were joined by organizations from East Carolina University, Royalty ECU, who performed stomp and shake routines, and the National Panhellenic Council at ECU, who had the members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc all perform strolls. We thank everyone who came together to help us all celebrate Black History Month!

US Cellular Black History Month Art Contest Celebrations

We had four Clubs participate in US Cellular’s annual Black History Month Art Contest – Jack Minges Club, New Bern Clubs, Sunshine Lady Club and Washington Club. Members were encouraged to create original pieces of artwork representing influential Black STEM icons. These included historical figures, world leaders, scientists and educators who have made vital contributions to the world of science, technology, engineering and math.

Each of these Clubs had 10 contestants showcase their artwork on the US Cellular website for the public to vote on and then a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner was announced at each celebration. This year, the contest allowed for three national winners as well for recognizing those who were the top vote getters across ALL participating organizations. Our own Roemello B. from the Washington Club was announced as a national winner!

See photos from all events HERE.

Jack Minges Club

Mayor Ricky Hines joined UScellular associates to reveal the winners of its tenth annual Black History Month Art Contest with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain Jack Minges Unit in Winterville.


  • Kassidy Brown received $250 for 1st Place

  • McKenna Cowan received $150 for 2nd Place

  • Trinity Alvarado received $100 for 3rd Place

“I would like to congratulate the winners of the annual UScellular Black History Month Art Competition,” said Winterville Mayor Ricky Hines. “This contest allows members of the Jack Minges Unit here in Winterville to express their artistic creativity and highlight African American achievements in STEM.” – Winterville Mayor, Ricky Hines

New Bern Clubs

Special thanks to our guests who joined us to recognize our contest winners including New Bern Mayor Jeffrey Odham, Craven County School District – Jennifer Wagner, Craven County Board of Education – Jennifer Dacey, Craven Arts Council & Gallery Bank of the Arts Executive Director – Jonathan Burger and local US Cellular Store representatives.


  • Jahlil Cooper received $250 for 1st Place

  • India NewKirk received $150 for 2nd Place

  • Keelie Cathey received $100 for 3rd Place

Sunshine Lady Club

Mayor Jerry Jones joined UScellular associates to reveal the winners of its tenth annual Black History Month Art Contest with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain Sunshine Lady Club in Morehead City.


  • Hannah Oliver received $250 for 1st Place

  • Natalie Walter received $150 for 2nd Place

  • Ethan Oliver received $100 for 3rd Place

Washington Club

Mayor Donald Sadler joined UScellular associates to reveal the winners of its tenth annual Black History Month Art Contest with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain Washington Unit in Washington.  


  • Roemello Boston received $250 for 1st Place

  • Kayleigh Harris received $150 for 2nd Place

  • Mackenzie Gibbs received $100 for 3rd Place

In addition, Roemello was one of the top three first-place submissions with the most votes from all participating Clubs and was named a national winner. Roemello received an additional $250, bringing his total winnings to $500, while Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain also received a $1,500 donation.

“We at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain are appreciative of US Cellular for their ongoing partnership and their work empowering our youth through the Black History Month art contest,” said Kimberly Reaves, Chief Operating Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain. “This collaboration not only fosters creativity but also instills pride and recognition of Black heritage within our Clubs, inspiring our youth to embrace their cultural identities and celebrate diversity. We are thrilled that one of our Club members was a top national vote-getter, exemplifying the incredible talent and potential within our community.”