Although Black History Month may come and go with scant mention these days because many African-Americans, such as President Barack Obama and Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll, have experienced great success in their lives, there’s still a need for the observance, says Carroll, who told an audience at the Air Force Academy that although he was a “little bit embarrassed” to give a speech on Black History Month, “there is still so much more for me to do” (via the Colorado Springs Gazette). A “great-grandson of a freed slave,” the 41-year-old Denver Democrat says there are too many neighborhoods in which a lack of economic opportunity and a lack of expectations create barriers to blacks. “Where we grew up, you don’t expect young men to wind up like me,” he said, adding, “if there is anything we need to commit to in Black History Month, it is a commitment to the education of our children.” Carroll’s rise to his prominent post in state government was profiled for the magazine last April by Senior Associate Editor Patrick Doyle.

Meanwhile, social studies students at East High School in Denver welcomed former Denver Public Schools Superintendent Evie Dennis, who led desegregation in school systems and started several diversity programs during her 28-year tenure, notes 9News. “History is necessary so you will be able to cope and deal with the future,” she says. In Pueblo, local artists are celebrating the month with an exhibit at the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center, writes the Chieftain. And The Root is using the occasion to discuss everything from “the ‘real’ black history” to “Slavery in 2010,” as well as offer irreverent takes like “Black Folks We’d Like to Remove From Black History” and “The Blackest White Folks We Know.”