Church hosts Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion

Record Observer - - RELIGION - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

GRA­SONVILLE — As at­ten­dees of the 14th an­nual Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion en­tered the Gra­sonville El­e­men­tary School cafe­te­ria on Sun­day, Feb. 26, they were given a piece of pa­per con­tain­ing ei­ther a name or a list of facts.

In an ex­er­cise to get the more than 40 peo­ple moving around and talk­ing to one an­other, in­di­vid­u­als were tasked with find­ing who their match was. The names ranged from African Amer­i­can politi­cians to civil rights lead­ers to ath­letes and en­ter­tain­ers.

Be­fore the cer­e­mony be­gan, Kent Is­land New Be­gin­nings Church of God in Christ Pas­tor Allen Cork, whose church hosted the event, gave at­ten­dees the op­por­tu­nity to view pictures of sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments through­out his jour­nal­ism ca­reer cov­er­ing important African Amer­i­cans and mo­ments. The names in­cluded Sugar Ray Leonard, Jesse Jack­son, Dick Gre­gory, Gwen Ifill and Mary­land Con­gress­man Eli­jah Cum­mings.

The his­tory cel­e­bra­tion, which lasted about 90 min­utes, in­cluded var­i­ous pre­sen­ta­tions and per­for­mances that brought to light the life strug­gles, de­ter­mi­na­tion, courage, strength and un­wa­ver­ing faith that African Amer­i­cans through­out his­tory had in over­com­ing so­cial in­jus­tices.

Mary­land Sen. Nathaniel J. McFad­den, se­nate pro tem and key­note speaker, said the coun­try is best when those be­fore make it bet­ter for those to come. He re­called be­ing a stu­dent at Mor­gan State Col­lege and not be­ing able to sit at cer­tain lunch coun­ters or at­tend cer­tain movie the­aters, how help wanted ads in the news­pa­per had sep­a­rate list­ings. But be­cause of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other “other fight­ers of the civil rights move­ment, both black and white,” fu­ture gen­er­a­tions don’t have to have those same ex­pe­ri­ences.

Ad­ver­sity, he said, is the United States’ great­est strength.

“If we re­ally want strong com­mu­ni­ties and a great na­tion, we need to make ed­u­ca­tion the high­est pri­or­ity,” McFad­den said. “A strong ed­u­ca­tional com­mit­ment must be em­braced by those who say, ...we are in­ter­ested in mak­ing Amer­ica great.”

Prior to McFad­den’s speech, a poem by an un­known au­thor was read by Jes­sica Wat­son called, “I Am Black His­tory,” and Isa­iah Shack­le­ford gave a brief his­tory les­son about the “Jour­ney of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and the Free­dom Rid­ers.”

Naryah Miles, who al­ways per­forms at the Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion, sang “Strange Fruit” be­fore Kent Is­land High School Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives made short re­marks.

Mid­way through the cel­e­bra­tion, neon yel­low pieces of pa­per were passed to about half the peo­ple in the room. Those given a piece of pa­per stood at the front of the cafe­te­ria. Each piece had a sin­gle lyric writ­ten on it, and the au­di­ence had to or­ga­nize the peo­ple, with­out speaking, into the cor­rect or­der.

The sen­tence formed read: “What the world needs now, is love sweet love, it’s the only thing, that there’s just, too lit­tle of.” Ev­ery­one joined in singing the song af­ter the ex­er­cise. Cork en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to go into their com­mu­ni­ties to be bea­cons of light.

Cork pre­sented Good Sa­mar­i­tan Trib­utes to the Queen Anne’s County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices and the Kent Is­land High School Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety for both of their work in the church’s an­nual Thanks­giv­ing bas­ket dis­tri­bu­tion. So­cial Ser vices works to get names of fam­i­lies in need and the Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety runs a school-wide canned food drive, as well as as­sem­bles the fi­nal prod­uct and goes with church mem­bers to dis­trib­ute the bas­kets in the com­mu­nity.

Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 7464 also re­ceived a Good Sa­mar­i­tan Trib­ute for its an­nual do­na­tion that aids in church pro­grams, as well as awards given to Miles, Pas­tor Tom Leonard and McFad­den.

Pas­tor Tom Leonard and Pas­tor Allen Cork em­brace af­ter Cork gave his peer a Good Sa­mar­i­tan Trib­ute dur­ing the 14th Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion at Gra­sonville El­e­men­tary School on Sun­day, Feb. 26.

PHO­TOS BY MIKE DAVIS

Sen. Nathaniel J. McFad­den was the key­note speaker at the 14th Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion held at Gra­sonville El­e­men­tary School.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Kent Is­land High School Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety ac­cept the Good Sa­mar­i­tan Trib­ute for their work with the Kent Is­land New Be­gin­nings Church of God in Christ Thanks­giv­ing bas­ket de­liv­ery pro­gram.

Amira Korne­gay shared facts about for­mer first lady Michelle Obama dur­ing the Kent Is­land New Be­gin­nings Church of God in Christ’s Black His­tory Cel­e­bra­tion on Sun­day, Feb. 26, at Gra­sonville El­e­men­tary School.

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