Carteret Community College honors top achievers during Black History Month celebration

Carteret Community College Board of Trustees member Rosa Langston speaks Monday during a virtual Black History Month program, which was shown on the college’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College honored several top academic students Monday during its virtual Black History Celebration.

As well as celebrating the accomplishments of top Black students, it was a celebration of the dynamics and history of America’s Black families.

The event was broadcast on the college’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. Those who would like to view the program can see it on the college’s Facebook page or at

The theme of this year’s event was “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” and guest speaker Rosa Langston, a member of the CCC Board of Trustees and longtime educator, shared many facets of Black families’ struggles and successes and their impact on America.

“Black people have contributed in numerous advancements in our society,” she said. “Our nation is better because of their inclusion, representation and contributions. The central aspect that has made this possible is the Black family.  The Black family is part of the nucleus that helps to define the American dream.”

She said the new millennium has affected those families.

“In the new millennium, historical and cultural influences, racism, urbanization, migration, discrimination, segregation and immigration have profoundly influenced the Black family’s representation, identity and diversity,” she said. “The new millennium brings with it many differences.  However, these differences are highly impacted by the past.”

As for the future of Black families in America: “All is not well. Racism, hate and injustice are on the rise. There is civil unrest, unemployment, housing, health and wage disparities that plague Black families in America,” she said. “However, we need to take note that many Black Americans have and continue to work hard to achieve middle and upper class status.”

She said there are still many changes needed.

“We must not deviate from what has brought us thus far, thinking that we have made it. The core of every Black American has and continues to rest in the hands of the family and the church. The future of Black America is found in its past. We have to turn to each other and the church for guidance and structure. It’s time to go back to our roots and find out where we have gotten off the track. We must get back to basics and work with one another not against one another.”

She added, “African American history is American history. At the core of the history is the family.”

CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini pointed out that the theme of the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service was “The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community.”

“Dr. King’s vision of a Beloved Community was based on basic human decency, where, to quote the King Center website, ‘all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood… Where love and trust triumph over fear and hatred.’”

She pointed to major successes, including the recent election of Kamala Harris, the first female, Black and Asian American vice president.

CCC Dean of Instruction Dana Merck celebrated the successes of the county’s top achieving Black students.

“Congratulations on a job well done,” he said.

The names and photos of students were presented as their names were read. The college celebrated students in grades 8 and 12, as well as CCC students that have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Each student received a certificate of honor celebrating their achievement.

Students who were honored were:

  • Beaufort Middle School: Trevin Carter, Saniah Reels and Brandon Washington.
  • Morehead City Middle School: Jayquan N. Stiles, Nicholas E. Johnson and Trey V. Jones.
  • Newport Middle School: Jevon C. Anderson, Joshua L. Johnson, Kaylee F. Johnson, Jasiah J. Jones, Lamont C. Jones, Ke’Nyasia A. Lewis, Jaquan Murray and Jordan L. Riggs.
  • Croatan High School: Samia N. Brimmer, JaTaya A. Brimmer, Daquan Dillahunt and Mia D. Raynor.
  • East Carteret High School: David D. Benders, Anthony E. Dalia, Brianna M. Dunn, Zyaun M. Hoover, Ayanni Sequoia, Mia Taylor and Alisha M. Williams.
  • West Carteret High School: Kaylee Johnson, James Kenon, Israel Long, Olivia McNair and Kyler Scriven.
  • Carteret Community College: Jason Anderson, Yolanda Aviles, Jala Brown, Leroy Brown, Brandy Burton, Nykia Cypress, Jaron Edwards Jones, Deidra Felton, Meshia Francis, Jenmekia Gay, Damien Guthrie, Roxanne Hester, Late’sha Higgins, Jazmine Johnson, Tinecia Kelly, Shutara Lancaster, Adeline Lane, Stephen Larubi, Ledonna Lopez, Connie Mayo, Keionna Mejia, Gabriella Montford, Crystal Morrisey, India Munn, Danielle Oden, Jordan Oldham, Makayla Prichard, Kanesha Rodgers, Khiel Rollins, Jasmine Rucker, Likissa Shelvin, Nixon Vernet, Kenyette Wade, Tamara Wilder and Jaliyah Woodruff.


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

(3) comments


“Black Americans have and continue to work hard to achieve middle and upper-class status.” Sounds like what I had to do, as well as most of the folks I know, no matter what color of skin.

Is Black History Month still relevant with the gains made in race relations? Actor Morgan Freeman called the concept of a month dedicated to black history “ridiculous.” “I don't want a black history month,” Freeman said.” “Black history is American history.”

Others said the observance reinforces the segregation it was meant to counteract. Every year we hear the same stories, and see the same documentaries with nothing new.

Yes, it is time to get rid of any racial history month. This country has gone so ‘politically correct’ it is crazy. It only serves to maintain a rift between races. If you’re only teaching African American history during February, you’re not really teaching American history.

In 1976, Negro History Week became Black History Month. I guess, moving forward, BLM will be a big part of Black History Month.

However, the most compelling reason for schools and communities to sustain Black History Month is a simple one. It’s the law.


Agree. History is history and that is the simple truth. To parse out history by race is a racist activity, So obvious, and this could get me censored.


There are no simple truths

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