SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — February marks the beginning of Black History Month.
Springfield started the month with a number of celebrations, Thursday an event was held at the Illinois State Library.
The Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Central Illinois African American Museum hosted the celebration.
Fairness, equality, inclusion, and nondiscrimination were key topics of the event. President of the Illinois Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Teresa Haley, talked about the importance of the organization.
"The NAACP continues to fight for people who cant speak for themselves, who won't speak for themselves or who don't speak for themselves,” Teresa Haley said.
Another celebration was also held at the University of Illinois Springfield where students put together a candlelight vigil in honor of those who have passed away.
"To pay homage to those who came before them. Those who sacrificed for them to be in the position that they are today," UIS student Justin Rose said.
Participants were encouraged to say some words and light a candle in someone’s memory.
"I look at it as a deeper connection to reach back and never forget where you came from,” Rose said.
Black History Month is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans.
There are a number of events going on throughout Springfield during the month of February.