Black History Month was commemorated Sunday at First Missionary Baptist Church in Selma.
The service and a special African-American exhibit on display this month at the Max G. Creech Selma Historical Museum both are part of the Town of Selma’s 150th anniversary.
At Sunday’s Black History Month at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Selma, Crystal Kimpson Roberts addressed what happens when vision and history intersect.
Roberts, owner, Mountaintop Productions, delivered the keynote address at Sunday’s service.
She paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston and made reference to her hit “I Go to The Rock.”
“Houston talks about going to ‘The Rock,’ when all else fails,” said Roberts. “When all else fails, when she needs someone to talk to, when she needs questions answered.”
Roberts referred to her parents as the other ‘rocks’ in her life. She said her mother is a retired history teacher who taught for 33 years.
“She also participated in sit-ins and was arrested for doing so,” said Roberts. “I told her that our young people are largely unaware of the struggles, heartbreak and loss of life we had suffered to enjoy the freedoms we have.”
Roberts quoted Proverbs 29:18 which says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he…”
“Don’t sleep on that,” said Roberts. “Rather, think on it and decide what legacy you want to leave.
“And as you think on it, please remember that you are not alone. Others have come before you and we will walk with you.”
There were 30 people in attendance. There was also a mini-museum of artifacts displayed in the church fellowship hall.
Attendees included Selma Mayor Pro-tem Jackie Lacy and Councilman Mark Petersen. Also in attendance was Nathaniel Sanders, who was the first black Clayton Town councilman.
The service featured musical selections from the First Missionary Baptist Church Choir, J.R. Wehner and Didi Lucas. There was a reception following the service.
The museum offers displays including Girl Scouts memorabilia donated by Lacy, a Johnstonian Sun article about Mack Sowell, the first black person elected to the Selma Town Council and a train porter’s hat worn by the late Willie Bland, a Selma resident who worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.
Kenneth Revells, 68, museum chairman, spoke about the importance of Black History Month.
“It’s important to realize who you are and where you came from,” said Revels.
When he was young, Revell said black and white children played together.
“When I was growing up, we farmed with white people,” said Revells. “We didn’t realize there was a racial problem.’
Revells said his association with the museum has been an interesting experience.
“I’ve learned a lot, it’s been a real education,” said Revells. “I’m learning and hearing things I never knew about Selma.”
The museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are available for schools, scouts, churches and other organizations. Contact Eric Jackson for more information at 919-333-4899.