Church members in Texas help honor African American community leaders during Black History Month

More than 250 people turned out to enjoy art, dances and musical numbers all created or performed by people of African heritage

More than 250 guests recently gathered at a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Plano, Texas, to celebrate the achievements of five local African American community leaders.

The dinner event was held Feb. 10, 2024, in commemoration of Black History Month, according to a news release from Church communications specialists in North Texas. In the United States, February is designated as Black History Month, which honors the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history.

The Plano event’s theme was “African Americans and the Arts” and included art, dances and musical numbers all created or performed by people of African heritage.

The five honored guests were:

  • Jacquelyn Shaw of Westside Baptist Church.
  • LaToyia Dennis, executive director of the educational nonprofit A Chance to Learn.
  • James Thomas of Shiloh Baptist Church and the Plano Independent School District; also named Plano’s 2023 Citizen of the Year.
  • Tonya Stafford-Manning, founder of the anti-trafficking organization It’s Going To Be Okay.
  • Tamara Monroe, founder of homelessness resource center Hope Restored Missions.

Elder Jonathan G. Cannon, a local Area Seventy, commended those involved with the event and bore his testimony of Jesus Christ.

“I know that He lives. He can only come back when there are people prepared to receive Him. I’m grateful to these recipients and those who are examples to us all so that we may be ready to receive Him,” Elder Cannon said.

Plano Mayor John B. Muns also thanked those who made the event possible.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known for gathering people and letting us all know that we are all welcome here in Plano,” he said.

Related Stories
How art, music and faith played a role in BYU’s commemoration of Black History Month
7 stories to read in honor of Black History Month
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed