“The Road We Trod” was the theme of the Mary Alice Shipp Community Development Corporation (MASCDC) as the nonprofit organization presented a brilliant Black History program at the Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center to the senior citizens. The head table was decorated by a poster of pictures of black historians and events that followed a road which represented the African-American journey from Africa to the White House. See more below:
Cont’d: Mrs. Barbara Debose, public relations representative for (MASCDC) was the coordinator of the event and introduced all the participants. Minister Webbie Hill, collaborative partner from Family Visions Outreach, delivered a heartfelt prayer. Mrs. Hazel Wright, secretary for the (MASCDC) welcomed the guests. Mrs. Debose gave the audience chances to win door prizes throughout the program. Mrs. Fidila Griffin, chairperson of (MASCDC), told the story of the journey. “I want to dedicate this presentation to the brave men and women that risk their lives for freedom, and I will gain the aid of others throughout this presentation”.
Griffin started the road trip with slavery as she played a recorded poem featuring actor, Danny Glover entitled “The Underground Railroad”. She introduced quilt renderings made by Marie Terry, a senior participant of the Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center. Griffin explained how slaves use quits as codes to escape. Each rendering represented a quit that was hung as a code of instructions for the escapee to follow the road to freedom. Larry Toles hid behind an old straw hat as he sat next to Griffin playing a harmonica. Toles demonstrated how the slaves would talk through the harmonica with words of communication. Toles, also, played a coded message using a monkey wrench by tapping on a piece of medal. Griffin played recordings of songs, sharing with the audience how the songs were coded to communicate with the slaves attempting escape.
The next stop transitioned the journey to the post slavery era and was presented by Saudia Barner, a student at Worth County High School, as she performed a liturgical dance to the song “O Freedom”. Next Griffin, journeyed through Civil Rights playing an excerpt from a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech”, recorded freedom songs and told of famous African Americans. Griffin made mention of local Civil Rights Leader, Mary Alice Shipp. She commented that Pastor Judy Hall of Jesus Christ Tabernacle of Deliverance and director of Family Visions Outreach, Inc., who was in the audience, was currently making history. Lastly, Griffin spoke proudly of the president of the United States and share a recording of President Barack Obama as he took his last Oath of Office. “So, you see that we have a history and wealth of ingenious people“, ended Ms. Griffin.
Mrs. Debose returned to issue a Black History Trivia Sheet to the seniors. The objective was for the seniors to answer twelve Black History questions and the senior participant that had the most correct would win the grand prize of the day. Mr. Robert Young, Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center participant, was the victor.
Mrs. Ira Moore, director of the Mary Alice Shipp Senior Center, thanked the participants and all visitors for coming. “It may be gloomy day outside, but inside, this program was very informative and uplifting”. The event ended as everyone sang “We Shall Over Come”.
Featured from left right: Hazel Wright, Barbara Debose, Mamie Wright, Pastor Judy Hall, Minister Webbie Hill, Marie Terry, Larry Toles, and Fidila Griffin (Photo by Saudia Barner)
Press Release submitted by Saudia Barner