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Each year, Rep. Mike McIntyre holds a celebration for Black History Month honoring African-American leaders within our community. For the last 14 years, that event has been held in Lumberton. But this year, it came to the Port City Sunday.

Neighbors looking out for neighbors, taking race out of the picture, and treating everyone with dignity and respect. That was the message from Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-highest ranking member in the US House, and guest speaker at this year’s Southeastern North Carolina Black History Celebration.

“You just gotta work together, pull together,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said. “The right hand’s got to know what the left hand’s doing, the left hand’s got to know what the right hand’s doing, and at the end of the day it’s all about the people. It’s all about the people.”

And this celebration was all about the people. Before the program even got underway, McIntyre went around the room and gave the mic to each and every person allowing them to introduce themselves.

“The fact is, we all matter,” New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said. “There’s no one greater than the other.”

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