WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Two United States Congressmen were in Wilmington Sunday for a celebration to kick off Black History Month. Rep. Mike McIntyre and Texas Rep. Al Green were joined by hundreds of local residents and political figures at Wilmington City Hall for the 16th annual commemoration.
"This is a special occasion," Rep. McIntyre said. "Every year we have anywhere form 300 to 400 people come from all over southeastern North Carolina. There's no event quite like it."
From honoring those who made history to celebrating those who are making history, event host Rep. McIntyre says Sunday's black history commemoration sets a precedent for a very important month.
"We want to make sure that, from all across the nation, we have the kind of input and excitement to say this is an important time in our country's history to celebrate," Rep. McIntyre said.
Along with Rep. McIntyre was the keynote speaker Rep. Green His message to the audience was to acknowledge and appreciate the other side of black history.
"Life is an inescapable network of mutuality as Dr. King put it," Rep. Green said. "We're all tied together and we didn't get here by ourselves. It took efforts of many people of different hues and different religions for us to make it this far."
There was also a special emphasis on African-American women at the event.
Local political leaders were moved by the words of Rep. Green.
"I thought it was a very powerful message," said Wilmington Mayor Pro-Tem Earl Sheridan. "A message about those that have brought us to where we are thus far in our nation and that it was both blacks and whites that have fought for the rights that we enjoy here today."
The Southeastern North Carolina Black History Month Commemoration is one of two events nationwide being held by a Congressman.