Morgan County Celebrates Black History Month
By Alissa Mullins
Edward O. DuBose, the president for the Georgia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that there were 88 deaths of black men that went unsolved this year. At Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday, DuBose urged members of the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP to celebrate Black History Month by getting back on the battlefield to join this battle.
DuBose, Mrs. Laura W. Butler, Morgan County Branch President, and other Calvary Baptist Church members made NAACP members from such churches as Mt Zion Baptist Church and Flat Rock Baptist Church feel welcome. The NAACP finance committee showed its appreciation by giving out trophies to the church that had the most members join the celebration. First place went to Calvary Baptist Church, second to Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and third to Flat Rock Baptist Church. Mt. Zion Baptist Church also won first place for the most NAACP membership.
DuBose said that the Morgan County Branch is one of six branches out of 100 branches for the site of a centennial event because the Morgan Branch is the leading branch in putting on events. “They put events on all year long.”
Wearing white and blue sequenced dresses, the five young girls of the Flat Rock Baptist Church praise dancers made the occasion a true celebration with their spiritual dance. Also, the event was celebrated with $100 check awards to essay contest winners such as high school winner Crystal Daniel.
Though the event was celebrated with awards the true reason for the event was remembering Black History.
Guest speaker Pastor President and Georgia State Conference Religious Chairperson Daniel Edwards said that many pastors don’t feel we need to know our history because it is in the past. However, Pastor Edwards feels it is important to know our history because though “We may not be slaves picking cotton or plowing potatoes, we are still enslaved in the shackles of our mind.”
Therefore, Mrs. Lottie Lewis, a NAACP member, briefly highlighted Black history by speaking about the Congressional Blacks of Congress that may have gone unremembered before Martin Luther King, Jr.
In addition, Youth Council member Jai Edwards highlighted the inventors of Black history. To keep the members’ attention, Mr. Edwards, who had a long weekend of cutting grass, asked everyone to say amen after he announced the name of a Black American inventor. The members that were women yelled a big amen after he named the inventor of the ironing board. Mr Jai Edwards also gave an extra amen after he named the inventor of the lawnmower.
After hearing the list of inventors, Rev. Brince Benford, Morgan County Branch Religious Chairperson and master of the ceremony asked “What have we invented lately.” I wanted to hear some recent dates like 2000 or 2003.” Rev. W.J. Reid, the Religious Co-Chairperson also asked, “If we were that smart why were we treated so badly.”
One of Pastor President Edwards’s main points was that though education is important you don’t have to have a fancy job title, but you do have to be good at whatever your job is. “You must seek to do a job so well that no one can do it better. Sweep streets like Michangelo painted pictures. Referring back to what was mentioned earlier, “I bet you not one person that did those inventions had a P.H.D.”
Borrowing inspiration from his elders, Pastor President Edwards referred to Jeremiah, chapter 6; verse 16 Standing at the Crossroads. Pastor Daniel Edwards said, “We never take time to stand on the road of life and going backwards is not an option, but decisions need to be made. Ask for the ancient past, or in other words ask someone who has been there.” “As a people we are at a crossroad. We have an opportunity to make a change. We need to stand at the crossroads and listen to our elders and we will find rest for our souls.”
The ceremony at Calvary Baptist Church was full of celebration, awards, and inspirational sayings, but the message that stuck out the most was what Rev. Hoke L. Smith closed with. “Love is the easiest thing you can do as a community. You don’t have to know each other to walk down the street and hug one other.”
The NAACP is always looking for new members and regularly holds events such as its Black History parade on April 19th.