Kennard Black History Month Event 2019
The Kennard Alumni Association hosted its annual Black History Month program Saturday afternoon, Feb. 23, at Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center in Centreville.
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools educator Janet Pauls welcomed the more than 100 people attending.
The event's theme this year was “Black Immigration,” Ms. Pauls provided a brief review of African American history of the Eastern Shore, beginning with the first African people arriving in the 1750s.
She talked briefly about the history of Kennard High School, which was built in 1936 in Queen Anne’s County as the “all-Negro” high school. Named for the late Lucretia Kennard, who moved to Centreville in the early 1900s, serving as supervisor of Colored Schools for 13 years in Queen Anne’s County. The school continued to educate local African American children and produced graduates through 1966. It was closed with the official opening of Queen Anne’s County High School in 1967 when the county schools were integrated.
Ms.Pauls recognized six distinguished members of the African American community of Queen Anne’s County, all ranging in age from 95 to 99. Those called forward and presented certificates of recognition from the Kennard Alumni Association included Alfred Ryans, 95, George Gaines Sr., 98, and Arthur “still kicking lightly” Jones, 99
Also recognized, but unable to attend, were: Mary Murray, 96, William Jacobs, 98, and William Hawkins, 98. All were presented proclamations from the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners stating each had served as “unsung heroes helping strengthen the community with good works in their resilience and perseverance.”
Black History Month Students of Excellence were recognized; they were each recommended by their principals in elementary, middle and high schools. Students recognized included: Charles Kay, Lindsay Hammond, Zion Cook, Colin Woolford, Wilson “Kevin” Smothers, Mehki Johnson, Jada Justice, Noree Crew, JaDereon Thompson, Willoh Ryans, Turham “T.J.” Potter Jr., Olutomide Famuyiwa, Aramide Famuyiwa, Jasmine Dean, Donyele Tingle, and Kyle Brown. All were described as excellent students and role models in their schools.
Former longtime QACPS educator and school board member Madelyn Hollis was recognized as being in the audience.
Queen Anne’s County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrea Kane and Kennard Alumni Association President Clayton Washington both spoke briefly, thanking all who came and congratulating all who were recognized.
Many thanks to the Record Observer for information for this story