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Lt. Col. Vanessa Hicks-Callaway will lead black history parade

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 7, 2012 at 8:08 p.m.

Vanessa Hicks-Callaway, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, will be the grand marshal at Saturday's 2012 Black History Month parade in Victoria. This year's theme is Black Women in American History and Culture. "I'm honored to have made their list," she said.

Lt. Col. Vanessa Hicks-Callaway said she is honored to be the grand marshal of the Black History Month parade Saturday morning.

This will be the Victoria High School alumna's first time serving in this capacity. And the San Antonio-resident understands her role.

"Imagine a general in the field commanding the troops. The grand marshal leads the parade down the street," she said.

Close to 40 floats from churches, schools and community groups, will be in the parade, according to event organizers.

Hicks-Callaway said she didn't want to take all the credit. She praised the many people behind the scenes, who make sure the parade runs smoothly.

The Black History Month Steering Committee organizers said they were delighted someone of Callaway's caliber will be an integral part of the festivities.

"We are so proud to have a woman with all the qualities of Lt. Col. Hicks-Callaway as our honored guest during Saturday's events, especially since our theme this year is Black Women in American History and Culture," said Margie Montgomery, the committee's treasurer, in a news release.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Patti Welder Magnet Middle School and end at the Victoria Community Center. The Black History Month Festival will immediately follow the parade in the community center and will last until 4 p.m. Admission is free to the public.

Hicks-Callaway will make opening remarks at the festival and provide information about her new book "Decision Precision Vision."

The festival will feature food, jewelry, arts and crafts, clothing, home décor and other items available for purchase. Winners of the People's Choice Awards in the Black History Month Fifth-Grade Poster Contest also will be announced.

The festivities will finish at the community center with a comedy show featuring Ronn "White Chocolate" Moore, Demetrieus "D.D." Ingram and Jazz Tate.

James T. Murphy Sr., committee chairman, said the group has met every month to plan the festivities.

"It's a lot of work, but it's all worth it," he said.

Murphy said this parade highlights the contributions of African-Americans, but encourages people of all races to attend.

"We are one big rainbow coalition," he said. "We all are made of different colors."

Hicks-Callaway said the Civil Rights Movement was successful because advocates knew their legal rights. As a lieutenant colonel in the Army, she said it's her job to defend the Constitution.

The parade's grand marshal said she hopes Saturday will be a time of acknowledging black history. "We need to take the time to reflect, and give credit where credit is due," she said.



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