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Museum celebrated at King Day breakfast celebrate museum

South Boston News
Supervisor William B. Claiborne presented Monday’s guest speaker, Dr. James J. Davis of Howard University, with a framed recognition from the Halifax County Board of Supervisors. He was joined in making the presentation by a large group of former students of the former Mountain Road School 1, which Davis attended from 1963 to 1966. / January 23, 2014

The banquet hall of The Prizery was packed on Monday morning as supporters and friends of the L. E. Coleman African-American Museum turned out to hear a former student at the small school house speak at the 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast celebration.

The theme for the morning was “The Struggle Continues” with Dr. James J. Davis, professor of Spanish and the Humanities at Howard University in Washington, D.C., serving as the guest speaker.

Davis, chair of the Humanities department at Howard, attended what was then Mountain Road School 1 from 1963 to 1966. He has been a professor at Howard for 33 years and served as department chair for 20 years.

“We have a responsibility to finish King’s dream,” said the professor, “and to do that we must have a plan as the struggle continues.”

That plan, he continued, should include the five C’s — communication, culture, comparisons, community and connections.

Noting that King was an extraordinary communicator, Davis urged his listeners to communicate their values to young people.

While conditions and styles may change, he said, “right from wrong remains the same.” The museum itself shows community activism, he explained. As for culture and comparison “that is what we value as human beings.” Furthermore in needing connections he stressed that “as long as we continue our struggle we can’t live in an isolated world. People must come to understand and value each others cultures.”

Using the five C’s, Davis said “is a way to install in our youth the message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to see it continue.”

Also at the breakfast event, Museum President Earl Howerton presented Shirley Chandler with a plaque of appreciation. He pointed out that it was Chandler who founded the museum. She was the one, Howerton said, who got possession of the old school house and who over the past years has struggled to see it develop into a museum with its many historic artifacts.

Halifax County Supervisor Bryant Claiborne presented Davis with a framed resolution of appreciation for his continuing interest in Halifax County and its history. Claiborne was joined by a large number of former students of the Mountain Road School 1 in making the presentation to the speaker.

Leroy Chandler served as master of ceremony for the breakfast event and Joanne Carter presented several beautiful musical selections.

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