Black History open house held at 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.