Wayne K. Curry (Courtesy WaPost)

In Memoriam: Wayne K. Curry: Prince George's First African-American County Executive

The Honorable Wayne K. Curry broke all the molds in the early 90's by becoming the first African American County Executive for Prince George's County.  His dynamism and determination to move the county from being the "Poor Sister" of Counties in the National Capital Region to being a jurisdiction of substance, affluence and pride was felt immediately in his bold economic moves in housing development and economic development.  His administration opened a new era of being "open for business and high end development" for Prince George's County.

Wayne's enthusiam, intelligence, sharp wit and general affability endeared him to friend and foe alike and made him a strong advocate for what is good for our County.  He was also a very determined man.

We at the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center at North Brentwood honor the distinguished legacy of this trailblazer and his contributions to the African American story in Prince George's County.

 

 


PGAAMCC Celebrates The Life, Legacy of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

-Source Wikipedia


PGAAMCC MLK DAY 2012 Keynote Address

http://youtu.be/plDcJ6KelSY

Hon. Alexander Williams, Jr. ,US Circuit Court Judge and Fmr Maryland State Attorney gives the PGAAMCC MLK DAY 2012 Keynote Address in Eagle Harbor, MD


Veterans Day Celebration at North Brentwood

More than 50 invited guests, including state senators Victor Ramirez and Joanne C. Benson, delegates Michael Summers and Jolene Ivey. The Veterans Day program was the first in a series of public programs supporting the PGAAMCC’s next exhibition – A Space of Their Own; A celebration of Prince George’s Historic Black Townships.

Mayors from three of the townships – Petrella Robinson, North Brentwood, James Crudup, Eagle Harbor and Lillie Thompson-Martin, Fairmount Heights – attended the event and served as honorary chairpersons.

The program began with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Yolanda Nelson followed by a welcome address from Mayor Robinson. PGAAMCC curator Jon West-Bey gave a brief introduction to “A Space of Their Own.” PGAAMCC Executive Director Dr. Jacqueline F. Brown recognized veterans for their service to America. Brown is married to a veteran and has two sons who have served in the Middle East.

Elder Bernard Blackmon, a former Corporal in the U.S. Marines was the Veterans Day event keynote speaker. Elder Blackmon recounted some of his military experiences, including the rigor of boot camp and the humiliation of his first bald haircut. Notwithstanding the meticulousness the Marines Corps, Elder Blackmon praised his time of military service saying it allowed him to use his GI benefits to buy a house, attend college and move up in the government job environment.

Each luncheon attendee was given a post card to write a personal message to a service member overseas. The Red Cross will help facilitate the mailing of the post cards.

“It’s important for our veterans to know what they have given will never be forgotten,” said Yolonda Evans, PGAAMCC’s Public Programs Coordinator. “This luncheon is an opportunity for our community to come together and honor them for their commitment, their service and our freedom.” - Walter Dozier -


‘Reading, Writing and Racialization:’ Dr. Washington Cherry Lecture

On Saturday, September 17th Dr. Washington Cherry presented an extremely participatory lecture that left everyone wanting to discuss more and ask more questions. The topic that had every ear perked and every brain thinking was: Reading, Writing, and Racialization: The Social Construction of Blackness in a Prince George’s County Middle School.

What is blackness? How do we define blackness? If you speak Spanish can you also be black? Is “blackness” a particular color”? Many of us define blackness differently and perhaps it is an individual decision. But this lecture clearly made everyone think about what it means to be black and its importance. One attendee stated that there is only one race, and that is the human race but does society accept this “one race”?Dr arvenita_Washingon_cherry

What became clear to me is the need for diversity training even among a community like, Prince George’s County which is predominantly African American. Among those who identify themselves as black or African American are Spanish speaking people, French speaking people, and perhaps even those who do not look like what we consider black or African American. It is important to understand and be empathetic to other people and do not jump to conclusions because a person has an accent or because they do not fit in a particular societal “box” neatly. Prior to this lecture, I often thought there was no need to have diversity training among people who look the same but I quickly learned that just because we look alike does not mean we share the same race, language, understanding of culture, or identify with being black.


The Honorable Peggy Magee lecture at PGAAMCC

If you missed the Peggy Magee lecture you missed a real treat! She spoke about how strength and honor and being able to stand up to any challenge has propelled her to success. As a single mom, she had a successful career in the military, as a state’s attorney, as Clerk of the Circuit Court, a Director in county government, and now in private industry as an adjunct Professor and as the Director of Community Relations at Collington. Her story inspired me as well as others.

Ms. Magee attributed much of her ability and steadfastness to her service in the military. She learned how to stand to any challenge and do it with dignity and honor but prior to the military it was clear that her strength was instilled in her by her very strong and capable mother. She had a mother who accepted no boundaries to affording her children the best education and she worked extremely hard as a domestic to accomplish this task. Ms. Magee described her childhood as one of few means, however she treasured such memories as being able to eat tea cakes and drink milk while sitting on the front porch swing in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The military helped Ms. Magee afford her education, both a Bachelor of Science as well as her Juris Doctorate. She served as the First Sergeant for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base during the Presidency of George Bush and Bill Clinton. She is a well respected leader among her colleagues and peers as well as the Prince George’s County community.