Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More on The Black History Exhibit at Winston Co. Library

(submitted by Elmetra Patterson) An Open House for a Black History Exhibit was held at the Winston County Library on Saturday, February 23, 2013.  The 2013 Black History Theme: At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality
 -The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.  The group met in the conference room for a brief presentation about the reason that  Black History is celebrated and an introduction to the Black History Exhibit.  Oliver Bolt acted as Abraham Lincoln and read the Emancipation Proclamation as signed by the president January 1863.
Brief talk by presenter Elmetra Patterson,  "Since the proclamation did not free all slaves, after the Civil War ended, the 13th and 14th amendments were passed by congress to free all slaves (13th) and to give the rights of equal protection under the law" to them as other citizens enjoyed (14th). However terrorists groups, i.e., Ku Klux Klan was formed to intimidate and lynch blacks."  
The NAACP was founded to protect the civil rights of 'colored' people. However, the Klan grew so powerful that it held a national rally and parade in Washington, D. C. in 1920.  Many states in the South set up Jim Crow Laws to keep blacks segregated and many blacks were lynched which prompted other blacks to organized and fight against lynching.  It was a difficult time and a group of black men called the Big Six from various organizations decided to meet and plan a march on Washington. They were Roy Wilkins, John Lewis, Whitney Young, Philip Randolph, James Farmer and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The  March on Washington took place on August 28, 1963 with over 200,000 participants, which included over 30,000 whites, according to some writers and observers. At the gathering on Saturday, Elder Richard Moncrief acted as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and read excerpts from the "I Have a Dream" Speech made at the Lincoln Memorial. Many there thought he sounded much like Dr. King. After the speech, the group marched through the library as they softly sang "We Shall Overcome", which is the traditional Freedom Song. Later, small groups were given tours of the exhibit.
The exhibit will be in the library through the end of this week.  The exhibit is in honor of Myrtle Evers, the first lay person to deliver the in augural invocation.  She is known for the endless work she did to see that her husband, Medgar Evers, murderer was convicted and sentenced after 30 years. The exhibit includes photos of the March on Washington, civil rights workers, and authentic African fabrics and baskets. There are two series of posters 1) 10 Days in Black History that Changed our Nation and 2) Inspiring Moments in African American History. This exhibit is a must see.  It covers most of the library and has many books by and about African Americans on top of the book shelves for easy access.
Oliver Bolt as President Abraham Lincoln
Elder Richard Moncrief spoke a Dr. King
Christine Waldrip and Betsy Ann Eichelberger prepare for the March through the library.
Eddie Littleton shares about his great uncle who was a union soldier in the Civil War.  Photo of William Littleton, of Yazoo City, is in the exhibit in the library with his biography.
Posters on exhibits.
The Big Six, the organizers of the March on Washington.
Copy of the Emancipation Proclamation with painting of Frederick Douglas and President Lincoln.