BARSTOW Organizers of the Brotherhood gathering feel African-American History Month is more than celebrating the trials and triumphs of a single culture, but reflects triumphs for all cultures.

In celebration of the national African-American History Month, the Art and Industrial Women's and Men's club is organizing Sunday's Brotherhood gathering at the Union Missionary Baptist Church. The Brotherhood event has been an annual tradition in Barstow for 16 to 17 years, according to Ryan Veal, one of the organizers.

A minister at Barstow Church of God in Christ, Veal said each year congregants from many churches in Barstow gather at one church to enjoy praise and a message.

"The purpose behind the (Brotherhood Program) is to bring churches from every race and creed in Barstow together to celebrate the freedom and equality that we can now be in together," Veal said. "We can now gather together. We can worship and praise together."

Veal said there was a time in church history when African-Americans had to sit in the balcony to be segregated from other congregants.

"Now through the grace of God we can sit together where we are all serving, and praising with one voice," Veal said.

Veal, who is the keynote speaker, said the theme for this year's event is "Stand and Pray together."

"This event is important to me because it's something that is not just an event, but an experience," Veal said. "You get to see family. You get to see friends. You get to see young and old come together and tear down the walls of inequality."

The event starts at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 1360 Riverside Drive.

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Brotherhood Event
3:30 p.m. Sunday
Union Missionary Baptist Church
1360 Riverside Drive