Civil Rights Movement topic for Woodson Foundation speaker

JoanBrowningJoan C. Browning, a freelance writer and lecturer living in Lewisburg, W.Va., will speak on the  Civil Rights Movement  and then discuss “the most fascinating person to call Greenbrier County home” at the 21st annual Carter G. Woodson Memorial Foundation Inc., fundraising banquet Saturday, April 27.

The banquet begins at 6 p.m. in Room BE5 on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center. Proceeds will help fund a scholarship endowment to support outstanding Marshall University students, as well as the purchase of materials on black culture and history.

Browning participated in the Paine College Steering Committee demonstrations in Augusta, Ga., in April 1961, and with the Atlanta Student Movement sit-ins in Atlanta in 1961-63, and was one of nine Albany Freedom Riders on the last freedom ride.

She writes about her experiences in the 1960s freedom movement, and about African American history. She has been a guest lecturer at more than 75 colleges and universities, presented scholarly papers at a dozen historical conferences, and team-taught, with Dr. David Trowbridge, two classes in civil rights movement history at Marshall.

Browning is special assistant to the Honorable Andrea J. Pendleton, the first woman elected mayor of the town of Rainelle.

The person Browning calls the most fascinating in Greenbrier County is Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith-Duconge. Known as “Bricktop,” Smith-Duconge entertained royalty and literary greats in Paris in the jazz era and then in Mexico City and Rome. She is being inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame this year.

Music for the banquet will be provided by Charles Johnson. Tickets for the event are available for a donation of $30. Corporate tables also are available. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Newatha Myers, foundation president, at 740-894-5772; Loretta Hagler, banquet chairwoman, at 304-525-5651; or Rebecca Glass, banquet chairwoman, at 304-633-0996.

The Carter G. Woodson Memorial Foundation is named in honor of Carter G. Woodson, who was a graduate of Douglass  High School in Huntington and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. Woodson, who is widely known as the “father of African American history,” founded the Association for the study of Negro Life and History in 1915. He also started the influential “Journal of Negro History” in 1916.