For local attorney Matthew Manning, Black History Month's meaning is simple.
"Black History Month, to me, means power; it means progress; it means perseverance," he said. "It means an important history that applies to everyone in our country, not just black people."
But it's just as important to recognize progress as it is the past.
"Black history is important, but so is black future, and I'm very proud to stand at the front edge of moving black people in our community, as a whole, forward," he said.
The black community is one of opportunity, said Manning, and one that has a lot to look forward to.
"The black community is in a positive place and is ever-moving forward," he said. "The black community these days is getting an education. We are continuing to be contributing members of society and are continuing to set our sights and our horizons down the road for continued growth."