Story Courtesy of the Howard Academy Educational & Recreational Council
Howard Academy Educational & Recreational Council, Inc. (HAERC) hosted its first Black History Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Monticello Opera House.
The HAERC banquet was a well-attended and momentous occasion for the community as well as for the council.
The speaker for the evening was Dr. Kevin Norton. He reminded guests of the significant role that Howard Academy played in the community, and of their own responsibility to do their part to make sure that the restoration project that HAERC has ongoing is a successful one.
He reiterated that the legacy of the historic institution will thrive for future generations only with the support of the community and alumni of the academy. An emotional reenactment by Shirley Washington of the Slave Mother (a journey of the African Mother from slavery and years beyond emancipation was one of the highlights of the evening).
The keynote by Dr. Norton and the presentation by Washington both received standing ovations.
Musical entertainment was provided by Carl McBride.
HAERC President Gladys Roann-Watson gave an update on the progress of the restoration project and thanked and encouraged continued support for HAERC.
HAERC's Chairperson Willie Ann Dickey wished to offer a sincere thanks to all those who contributed to this wonderful evening:
• HAERC Vice-Chair and Vice-President of the Howard Academy Board Shirley Washington.
• The Program's Master of Ceremonies Sandra Saunders.
• Property Appraiser Angela Gray, who donated the door prizes.
• Endless Moments Event Planning, Decorating and Catering, as well as to Monticello Opera House Director Michael Herrin and his staff for their efforts towards making the evening a success.
During the event, various trivia questions were presented regarding local historical persons of Jefferson County, such as Mamie B. Scott, John Nelson, Sr., Grace Gallon Allen and Elizabeth G. Hall; all played a role in building up the community that we now enjoy today.
Thank you to everyone who supported this program!