February is just around the corner folks! And, not only that, but it’s a special month. Black History Month, which runs all through February, is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans, and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S History. The celebration has extended way beyond the U.S, and other countries including Canada and the United Kingdom, also take part in Black History Month. Since 1976, every American president has designated February’s Black History Month a specific theme. The theme for 2020 is, “African Americans and the Vote,” paying homage to the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 giving black men the right to vote. A great theme indeed!
To celebrate Black History Month in Goldsboro, we thought we’d share some cool, little known facts about Black History in Goldsboro Wayne County. How many of these did you know?
- Alfonzo “Al” King was the first black Mayor of Goldsboro.
- Dorothy Foreman, a 1948 graduate of Dillard High School, served as a Secretary for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Clarence Hodges, a native of Goldsboro, served under President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
- Shirley Middleton was the first black female Clerk in the Wayne County Court House.
- Judge Paul Jones was the first black appointed and elected Judge in Wayne County in 1996.
- Ernestine Wooten was the first black female to serve as Chairman of the Wayne County Democratic Party.
- John Henry Wooten was the first black Chairman of the Wayne County Commissioners.
- Attorney Earl Whitted was the first black person to serve on the Goldsboro Board of Alderman (now City Council).
And all through February, you can celebrate Black History Month around Goldsboro Wayne County. Wayne County Musuem is celebrating Black History Month with their annual Black History Exhibit. Immerse yourself in goods, displays, historical artefacts – and this year, there is a new exhibit dedicated to the “History and Homecoming: The Legacy of Dillard High School,” which explores the founding and history of Dillard High School, and their far-reaching nationwide alumni association. It promises to be super interesting, so check it out! And for budding artists, The Arts Council Of Wayne County are running a special painting class to honor Black History Month, run by their exhibiting artist for February/March, Maximillian Mozingo. Students will receive instruction and supplies to create their very own masterpiece, and those over 21 are welcome to bring wine to share. Sounds ideal!
Finally, make sure you share your photos with us of what you got up to celebrate Black History Month. Tag photos #visitgoldsboronc and #blackhistorymonth and we will share them to our Instagram page!