The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection Presents: A Celebration of Women’s History Month March 5, 2:30 p.m., Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Sullivan Hall The Second Annual Women’s History Month celebration will celebrate exceptional women who have made contributions to African American history and culture in the Philadelphia region. This year Mr. Charles L. Blockson, Curator Emeritus, was involved in the selection process and will unveil some personal items of Harriet Tubman that will be shown to the public for the first time. This is a one- time only showing of her personal items in our region. The program will take place in The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection on March 5 at 2:30 PM, 1st Floor, Sullivan Hall, 1330 West Berks Mall. WURD Radio Station, Program Director Thera Martin Connelly is the Mistress of Ceremony.
Pianist and Vocalist Willa Ward-Royster performed with the Clara Ward Singers as a solo artist and as head of several of her own groups. Though semi-retired, she still appears in combination with such former Ward Singers as Frances Steadman, Kitty Parham, and Esther Ford and performs in area supper clubs, nursing homes, and senior centers.
Philanthropist Beverly Lomax is the matriarch of the Lomax family. Through the Lomax Foundation, she has had a great impact on Philadelphia institutions with her husband Dr. Walter Lomax and their generous contributions, including the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Her family has been at the forefront of information and empowerment to the African American community at large through LEVAS Communications, LLC the parent company of 900AM WURD. She is also a quilt maker whose works is currently on display at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Founder and President of the Women’s Heritage Society, Audrey Johnson-Thornton spearheaded the movement to rescue Belmont Mansion from impending demolition with a mission to preserve and restore the historic site. She has been instrumental in organizing numerous events for the African America community in the Philadelphia region.
Author and Educator Marie T. Bogle is a retired school teacher in the Philadelphia schools where she started in 1971. She was the West Philadelphia Improvement Corps (WEPIC) Coordinator for the School District of Philadelphia where she worked to link projects to students’ learning experiences, welcoming the involvement of parents, community residents, and the WEPIC partners in these efforts.
Activist Lois Fernandez co-founded ODUNDE in 1975. It is the oldest continuously running African-American street festival in the country and one of the oldest festivals celebrating Nigerian New Year and Yoruba culture. The festival, whose concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, celebrates the coming of another year for African Americans and Africanized people around the world.
Journalist Annette John-Hall is a metro columnist for The Inquirer. She was previously a Features reporter and columnist focusing on music, film television and pop culture. A native of Berkeley, California, she covered professional, college and high school sports at the San Jose Mercury News, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the Oakland Tribune.
Television Personality Trudy Haynes made local history in August of 1965 as the market’s first African-American television reporter. In December 1988, she retired after 33 years on the air at KYW-TV, Channel 3. In the early 50s she was the first African-American poster model for Lucky Strike cigarettes. She entered broadcasting in 1956 as women’s editor at WCHB Radio in Inkster, Michigan and hosted a 90-minute daily program for women.
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell is a Philadelphia native and five-term councilwoman. She has served many leadership roles in the city council, and has been dedicated to serving the needs of community and the underprivileged. She served as Majority Leader from 2000 -2008. She is also Chair of the Education Committee and the Chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless. She is Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Committee of the Whole, Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities, and the Committee on Ethics. Councilwoman Blackwell is also a Co-Founder and Commissioner on the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs.
Special guest Haki R. Madhubuti, professor and publisher of the Third World Press, will read poetry during the program.