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You’ve been seeing stories about Black history all month on FOX8. Every story has been centered around the theme “Honoring Black History: Mind, Body, and Soul.” That was a very intentional theme, and it’s the result of hours of meetings with a team of journalists from our sister stations around the country dating back to September. I had the privilege of representing FOX8 as one of a dozen or so journalists on that committee, and it was one of the most enlightening and humbling experiences of my career.

We know Black history runs deep in the Piedmont Triad. We have three of the best Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America. The A&T Four sat down at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on Feb. 1, 1960, sparking a whole new movement within the Civil Rights Movement. The Underground Railroad ran through Guilford and Randolph counties. During our committee meetings, we discussed it all.

We also talked about the role of religion in Black history and how religious and civic institutions have reinvented themselves to stay relevant in today’s time while not losing sight of their purpose. We talked about the progress America has seen as Black people have progressed. We talked about the struggles that still remain for many Black Americans and institutions that are still succeeding in doing more with less 68 years after Brown v. Board of Education, 58 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 57 years since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. What really struck me personally was that many of the experiences every journalist on the committee shared were the same in New York, Little Rock, Richmond, Charlotte and here in the Piedmont Triad.

Through Honoring Black History: Mind Body and Soul, our goal was to shine a light on the things happening within Black communities around the country to address mental health issues and the disparities Black people face when it comes to getting treatment, like the story about a Little Rock barbershop stepping up to help Black people check in on their mental health. We also wanted to celebrate the molding of young Black minds that has happened on HBCU campuses since generations before Black people were allowed to attend white universities.

We sought to honor the work being done to ensure Black bodies are represented and respected in every aspect of our lives and culture. And we sought to showcase the work happening throughout our communities to maintain the soul of Black folks. In showing everyone that Black people are not a monolith, we also highlighted the soul that you can’t help but feel when you look at our art, when you listen to our music, when you read our poetry.

– Tracy Clemons, morning news anchor

Watch the FOX8 Black History Month special at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.