Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Black History Month Stories of Migration/African Fashions

Mary Waldrip McWilliams

February is the month to celebrate Black History and to continue to educate about untold stories that are hidden in the history books of American History of African Americans. The 2019 theme is Black Migration. The focus at the Winston County Library Exhibit is on local African American residents who migrated from Winston County in the 50s and 60s, however, most have returned for a more comfortable life after retirement. Mary McWilliams’s story is featured in the Black History Exhibit at the Winston County Library, 301 West Park Street, Louisville, MS., 662-773-3212. This writer (Elmetra Patterson) is the curator of this exhibit.

Mary Waldrip was born and raised in Louisville, MS graduating from Louisville Colored High School in 1963. This writer remembers her as an excellent student who was very active. She migrated to Milwaukee in 1968 to find better opportunities for a good paying job. She became an employee of Allen Bradley Company, Milwaukee, WI. And retired from there. She returned to Louisville July 5, 2005. She and her husband Q. C. McWilliams of 50 years are the parents of six children: Avery, Eryka, Damien, Quinton, Martrell and Eric.

Mary is the treasurer of the Friends of Dean Park, Inc. of which she has been a member for 8 years. She is also a volunteer with Black Girls Read. Her granddaughter is a member of this thriving group which is directed by Dr. Melissa Davis. Mary is a member of the Center Hill Church of God, Louisville, MS.


Black History Month Story with African Fashions

February is the month to celebrate Black History and to tell the untold stories that are hidden in the history books of American History of African Americans. The 2019 theme is Black Migration. The focus at the Winston County Library Exhibit is on local African American residents who migrated from Winston County in the 50s and 60s, however, most have returned for a more comfortable life after retirement. Mattie Eichelberger Davis’ story is featured in the Black History Exhibit at the Winston County Library, 301 West Park Street, Louisville, MS., 662-773-3212. This writer (Elmetra Patterson) is the curator of this exhibit.

Mattie Bell Eichelberger, the 13th child of 23 children, was born to William James Eichelberger and Betsy Ann Hughes-Eichelberger on July 10, 1947. Her grandfather was a slave in South Carolina and migrated to Noxubee County, Mississippi in 1860 with the family’s slave master. After freedom from slavery, the family settled in Winston County on the Hull Plantation and became sharecroppers.

Her father purchased land in 1924 in the Mt. Sinai Community, Louisville, MS and that is where she and her siblings were born and raised. She was baptized at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church prior to age 13. She was very active in Sunday School, Sunday Worship Services, BTU and Vacation Bible School along with siblings (Claudell, Elmetra Louise, Samuel Delano, Janice Berthene, Joseph Abner, Barbara Faye, Gwendolyn, Paul Carmel, Clifford and Clifton. Her older siblings had migrated to Sausalito, CA in the 40s and 50s; Donia, Walter, Lorenzo, Marcella, Aurelia, Ollie, Joy, Fred, Ina Lee and Ruth)

She attended Rocky Hill School and was transferred to Louisville Colored High School in the 8th grade. After completing the 10th grade at Louisville Colored High School in 1965, she migrated to Oakland, CA with an older sister Marcella Eichelberger Turnipseed Hubbard graduating from Berkeley High School June 1967. After which, she attended Merritt College in Oakland pursuing a business degree for two years. She graduated from Contra Costa College, San Pablo, CA with associate degree in Business Administration. She became employed by Bank of America in 1969 in the Bank’s Corporate Insurance Department as Office Manager and Operations Officer. She retired from Bank of America after 33 years.

Mattie is married to Melvin Davis after meeting in 1972. They have one son LeVante Melvin Davis, Sr., one grandson LeVante Melvin Davis, Jr., one great grandson, Royce Jordan Davis and one great granddaughter Kyla Rose Davis.

Mattie stated that it was always her dream to return to Louisville. In 2008 Mel and Mattie purchased a house in Louisville which is about a 5 minutes’ drive from where she was born on West Sinai Road. However, she still maintains residence in Richmond, CA. She helped provide much care for her late mother, Betsy Ann Eichelberger who passed at 99 Years of age, February 5, 2018. She and Melvin are members of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, Richmond, CA. When in Louisville, they attend Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. She is very active in many ministries in both churches, but loves the Ushers, Nurses, and the Benevolence Ministry.

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