Celebrating Wellington’s Black History

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Since America’s bicentennial year of 1976, every February has been designated as Black History Month, a time set aside to remember and honor the accomplishments of American citizens of color. The originator of the idea was noted African-American historian, scholar and educator Carter G. Woodson, who first proposed the commemoration of “Negro History Week” in 1926.

For the past several years, Wellington Genealogy Group president Marilyn Wainio has prepared and installed an exhibit on notable figures of color from Wellington’s past and present, based on her own extensive research. I have been honored to make one or two small contributions of my own, based on things I have learned while writing this blog.

Since this year is Wellington’s bicentennial, Marilyn and I volunteered to install a window exhibit in honor of Black History Month, under the auspices of Main Street Wellington. It is now on display on the north side of East Herrick Avenue, right at the center of the village. If your daily travels take you in that direction, please stop by and take a look. A duplicate set of the same panels is also currently showing inside Wellington’s Herrick Memorial Library, with a multi-page color handout that you may take home for further reading.

In March, we will be putting up a similar display in the same location to commemorate Women’s History Month. Watch this space for further details. Finally, I am currently working on a post about Frederick Douglass and his oration in the village in 1868, which I plan to post next month in honor of the 150th anniversary of that visit.

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