Right after the May 11 public forum, the City of Wilson agreed, at my request, to deposit a copy of New South Associates’ GPR survey with Wilson County Public Library. Here’s Councilmember Gillettia Morgan‘s suggestion, sent via email attachment on May 31:
Has the City followed through with this simple request?
Today I left at the Local History Room a bound copy of my May 11 PowerPoint slide deck and notes. When the library inquired this morning, a city official said they’d drop off a copy of the GPR report “this week.”
While we’re here: at the May 11 forum, the Mayor promised transparency and accountability from the City concerning Vick and indicated he wanted to “work together” to address its problems. None of that is happening. The last email I received from Councilmember Morgan is dated May 31. She has not responded to any I have sent since. However, she is ahead of councilmembers Johnson, Liles, Creech, Fyle, Bell, and Evans; the Mayor; the City Manager; the Assistant City Manager; and the Communications Director, who collectively have not responded to or even acknowledged receipt of a single email. (I have spoken with the Mayor by phone concerning the August 5 Vick Cemetery reconsecration. He did not initiate the call.)
I don’t vote in Wilson, and I have to abide by the Hatch Act, but I surely hope citizens will ask hard questions of candidates about their intentions for Vick Cemetery and remember both word and deed at election time.
I cannot say enough in praise of Wilson County Public Library and its incredible cadre of dedicated librarians. WCPL offers an incredible array of services and steadfastly walks the walk of inclusion, holding space for the stories of all of us.
Speaking to my home community at Wilson County Public Library has been a highlight of my Februarys lately, and I’m excited to return in person this year. I’ll be trying to do justice to the extraordinary life of Samuel H. Vick in an hour or so, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Last week’s Zoom talk about Mary C. Euell and the Wilson Normal and Industrial Institute may be one of my most enjoyable to date. I never tire of sharing Mary Euell’s story, and this occasion was made extra-memorable by the presence in the audience of descendants or relatives of sisters S. Roberta and Grace Battle, who were two of teachers who resigned with Euell; of Samuel H. Vick, who spearheaded the establishment of the alternative school; and of Sarah Hines, another resigning teacher, and her husband Walter S. Hines, a businessman who served on the Industrial School’s board. After my presentation, there was a freewheeling question-and-answer session that touched on a broad range of East Wilson matters and ended only because the library staff had to go on home.
My thanks, as always, to Wilson County Public Library, for its support of local history and commitment to amplifying the stories of Wilson’s African-American community. (See this month’s exhibit near the circulation desk prepared by Adult Services Librarian Naija Speight.) Special thanks to Local History and Genealogy Librarian Tammy Medlin and Assistant Director/Adult Services Manager Amanda Gardner.
Local History/Genealogy Librarian Tammy Medlin will be presenting a video encore of her talk on the history of Wilson’s Negro Library, founded by African-American women in 1943, when Wilson County Public Library was strictly segregated. Tune into Facebook March 17 at 7:00 PM for an in-depth look at this important East Wilson institution.
More great Black History Month programming from Wilson County Public Library! On 15 February 2020, local history librarian Tammy Medlin will present a history of the Wilson County Negro Library, founded by African-American women in the early 1940s. No registration necessary; please come learn more about this vital community institution.