During their Black History celebration, the students at Genesis Education Center honored many of the local African-Americans who were trailblazers here in Greenwood County. The distinguished group of “firsts” ranged from being the first to teach in an alternative school to being the first African-American to be crowned Miss Piedmont Tech.
Honorees included Mr. Donald Robinson, Ms. Shirley Johnson, Mr. Gerald Witt, Mrs. Edith Childs, Mr. Glenn Boles, Mrs. Betty Boles, Mrs. Doris Humphrey, Ms. Jerral Goudy, Mr. Charles Graves and Rev. Moses Miller, the speaker for the occasion.
Representative Anne Parks along with many other distinguished guests were unable to attend the ceremony, but they were also recognized by Ms. Shirley Johnson. The theme of the program was, “We have come a long way, but there is still a ways to go.”
Rev. Miller spoke to an enthusiastic audience of students, parents, community leaders, and elected officials about determination, confidence and courage. He gave the history of the African-American Methodist Episcopal Church and talked about the perseverance of its founder. He explained to the audience that the church has always been a foundation for African Americans. He reiterated the theme that “we have come a long way, but we should keep striving for better things. Although we may encounter challenges along the way, we must keep striving for our goal.”
The students sang songs, stepped, participated in a skit, portrayed different African-Americans through speech, and Tray Sanders gave a stunning reflection of how the African-American “firsts” inspired him to become the first in his family to receive his high school diploma and go to college. Ms. Shirley Johnson, the director of the Black History Program, says that she was very pleased with the student performances.