Program to highlight black history
By Lynn R. Parks
Gerry Horsey has lived in Laurel all her life. Even so, she was surprised by some of what she learned in researching the history of the African-American community in her hometown.
“We had a black mortician,” she said. “A black florist. People in shoe repair. A black mason. Cement block makers. And the list goes on. They served the entire town. This was the first that I had heard about many of them and it was really surprising to me.”
Horsey, who was delivered in 1942 by African-American midwife Christana Cottman, is compiling her list as part of the town’s celebration of its 200th birthday, which got under way several weeks ago. She is presenting much of the information she has gathered during events planned for February, Black History Month.
“A lot of people in town don’t know anything about these beautiful people who passed through their city,” Horsey said.
The third in a series of four Black History Month programs will be Saturday, 6 p.m., at New Zion United Methodist Church, Sixth Street, Laurel. In addition to Horsey’s discussion of Laurel’s African-American community, the Rev. Dr. Kwame Abayomi, who counsels people with drug addictions and who are HIV-positive, will speak. Admission is free.
Library to host story hour
The Laurel Public Library will hold family story hour Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m., for families with children of all ages. Children interested in reading aloud are invited to share a book or a poem. For more information call 875-3184.
Library closed Feb. 18
The Laurel Public Library will be closed Monday, Feb. 18, for Presidents’ Day.