Local church exhibit to honor black history

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By Amber Coulter

A local church is working to raise awareness about local and national black history with an exhibit opening Friday at the Hardin County Public Library.

Embry Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Elizabethtown is working with a local resident and her uncle to set up a black history exhibit at the branch on Jim Owen Drive to highlight figures and moments that demonstrate the importance of black history.

Yonna Lee of Elizabethtown, an organizer of the event, long has been interested in black history, so she and her uncle are collaborating with the church to share those lessons with younger generations.

“This area we live in is rich in its own history,” she said.

The exhibit is scheduled to last through February, which is Black History Month. It is planned to include artistic depictions of the first two black coaches to make it to the Super Bowl, Muhammad Ali, rapper Tupac Shakur and others.

Local figures, such as Carl Brashear of Sonora, the first black master diver, and authors who have lived in the area will be recognized.

The Black History Gallery on Gallery Place in Elizabethtown and longtime predominately black churches also are expected to be honored. Embry Chapel AME Church has existed for about 150 years, Lee said.

Lee wants visitors to leave the exhibit having learned something and committed to remembering black history throughout the year.

“People need to recognize their own history, and then they can recognize that discrimination has no place,” she said.

Events might be planned in the future to draw attention to the exhibit throughout the month, such as giveaways and book signings by local authors, Lee said.

She hoped community members support the exhibit.

“I just really want to make this a success because we’ve worked hard on it,” she said.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.