UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — Several Prince George’s County residents came out to celebrate black history month at the first “For The Culture” expo, celebrating Black Excellence

There were panelists, food, music, and a celebration of community.

“What made me come out today was black excellence. You know it’s Black History Month, you get to just meet new vendors and network, and just enjoy myself,” said guest Ayesha Mcdowell.

Dozens of people sat inside the Largo/Kettering/Perrywood Community Center in Upper Marlboro to celebrate black culture.

“I was humbled more than anything because they say the streets are watching and the people who showed up today is a representation of the citizens that are in tune to what’s going on in the county,” said Calvin Hawkins, Prince George’s County Council Member.

It was hosted by Prince George’s County Park and Recreation for its Black History Month Expo.

“So it’s just always beautiful to see people as a collective come out and want to be a part of something productive and specifically for the culture and community building. I’m all about building community, so that was a big deal to me to be a part of that,” said Lamont King, a multimedia producer, and comedian.

There were several panelists at the event like former WNBA Player and college coach Kelley Gibson, entrepreneurs like Megan Soigne and Sean Brayboy, and multi-media producer and comedian Lamont King. Each of them shared what it’s like being African-American in their industry and how they were able to create opportunities for themselves. The importance of unity in the black community was also a big topic.

“We have to protect our culture. Without our culture, we’re not even a being. So being rooted being firmly planted being grounded, uncompromised and unapologetic, and just rebuilding and reshaping the mindset of people who have lost culture,” said King.

Being unified not only on a global scale but also on a local scale, right here in Prince George’s County.

“We are our brothers and sisters’ keepers. The answers to the challenges that are going on in our community, particularly in the black community, the answers are right here with us. We keep looking for others to solve our problems, we have to solve them ourselves from youth violence to the challenges facing our seniors,” said Hawkins.

There was food, music, and several black-owned businesses and charities, and most importantly a memorable experience for the culture.

“[We have to] make sure that we leave a legacy behind so that people can come after us will have a knowledge of self and have a knowledge of their history and where they came from,” said King.