JONESVILLE — Fellowship and friendship were featured during the learning period celebrated as Black History Month thanks to the Jonesville Historical Society.
Hosting the Black History Celebration at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center, the historical society welcomed Mayor Gene Fowler and Commissioner Andy Green as well as other members of the community.
In addition to an enlightening presentation by Alvin Hayes of St. Home Baptist Church in Elkin, which was preceded by stirring music by the church praise team, the Jonesville Public Library assisted with a display.
“This is the first year we participated,” said Branch Librarian Barbara Gilpin, who was excited about being a part of the celebration.
“There’s a significant citizenship in Jonesville that [Black History Month] directly affects and we need to all become more inclusive. We say we are, but there’s always [progress] to be made,” she said.
After assisting a patron who was researching black history, Gilpin and her staff were prepared when historical society President Becky Wood asked them to contribute to this year’s celebration.
“We wanted to bring books, nonfiction and fiction authors, to let people know that there is available materials at the library,” said Gilpin.
The library was just one resource for information available at the celebration.
“I took time out myself and [looked up online] Black History Month and learned a lot,” said Wood, who shared the information through trivia cards placed on the tables.
As informative as the library and internet can be, it was the interaction with attendees that had Wood the most enthused.
“We are learning from each other. We have to learn from each other to stop making these bad mistakes,” said Wood, who acknowledged that black history is also her history.
“[People] need to attend [activities like the Black History Celebration] because they need to learn regardless if it’s not their history,” said Robert Foster. “You should learn about all history. Just put it together. All of it is good.
“All of it is good,” repeated Foster, encouraging unity in spite of perceived differences.
“I am enjoying today and I hope I learn a lot about the history this weekend, that it may restore and make me to be a better person and that I can help someone.”
“We’re going to make this a better country and teach our children that this is the melting pot by talking with one another, by being together and being in fellowship and learning from one another,” said Wood.
The way to start is by being present at events and activities.
“Just give it a try,” said Gilpin. “Go open-minded and give something different a try.
“Step out of your comfort zone a little bit. We all get in a rut and sometimes it doesn’t hurt to step outside a little bit. It’s OK to try something different.”
“We are just so happy to see everybody here today,” said Carrie Martin. “It is entirely truly a blessing.”
For information about Black History Month, go to africanamericanhistorymonth.gov.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.