The Grapevine: PWA's Celebrate Black History Month

By Rosalyn Queen Alonso on January 22, 2019 from The Grapevine via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The month of February will soon be here and in keeping with tradition the Progressive Women's Association (PWA) of Harrison County will call special attention to Black Culture Month. In doing so, special recognition will be given to the accomplishments of African Americans with a local connection.
 
Dr. Carter G. Woodson is known as the father of Black History Month.  He wanted to increase public awareness of African American History and Culture by encouraging the country to celebrate those of African descent. 
 
In 1926, Negro History was introduced as a way to honor the contributions of African Americans throughout American history. This week was to be observed the second week in February to coincide with Abraham Lincoln's birthday.  Of course, it was in 1863 when President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation which ended slavery.  That then led to the passing of the 15th Amendment on February 3,1870 which gave African Americans the right to vote.  In 1976, President Gerald Ford made it a national observance for the entire month. 
 
2018 marks the 100th year of the ending of World War I and the theme for this year will be "African Americans in Time of War." This theme will honor the role African Americans have played in warfare from the American Revolution to today.
 
The PWA wishes to celebrate the accomplishments of people of color. Some little known facts are that Sarah Gooden was the first African American women to receive a patent for her folding bed; George Crum made the first potato chips; the "Real McCoy" is a phrase started from the auto oil cap invented by Elijah McCoy; the blood bank as we know it was originally started by Charles Richard Drew; Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask; and when we drop our mail in a secure weather protected box we thank Philip Downing for this invention.  These are just a few of the inventions that we use in our everyday life. 
 
On Friday, February 22, the PWA will present a Women of Distinction luncheon presented by Davis Funeral Home at the Uptown Event Center.   Ten Black American Women from Harrison County will be honored for their contributions and volunteer efforts to our community. 
 
A former local resident, Rhonda Holyfield Mangiere will deliver the keynote speech.  The luncheon is open to, the public and information and reservations can be made by calling 304-624-6881.
 
The Progressive Women's Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the ideals of the citizens of Harrison County and to, present programs that will help our local citizenry.  The membership now includes a group of teenagers who are known as The Young Progressive Women's Association. Membership is open to everyone who might be interested in forwarding the mission of the organization.  The PWA is a member of the United Way of Harrison County.
 
Stay warm, keep in touch and until next "Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine." 



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