Black History Honors program draws big crowd
The second annual Lowcountry Black Historical Society Black History Honors program recognized 10 individuals and two institutions for their contributions to Summerville and Dorchester County.
Honorees included Dorothy Louise Jenkins Brown, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Albert and Elaine Glover, Margaret Brown Goodwine, Carolyn Alston Howard, Dr. Anthony Lemon, Summerville Police Chief Bruce Owens, Pat Raynor, Frances Townsend, and Rev. Luther Williams.
LCBHS also recognized Sandhill UMC and the Summerville Journal Scene with Humanitarian Awards.
“You may ask, “Why are we here,’ and ‘why now,’” noted Emcee Ethel Campbell-Smith. “We are here because the people we are honoring today are special to us and to the Summerville and Dorchester County Communities.”
She noted that February is not only Black History Month, but it is also the month of love.
“What better time to show a little love,” she said.
A large crowd gathered Sunday in the Summerville High School auditorium for the program, which featured performances from three area choirs -- the Baum’s Temple AME Zion Youth Choir, Sandhill United Methodist Mass Choir, and St. Luke Baptist Church Choir – as well as keynote comments from honoree Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, who is a Democratic Party candidate for District 1 of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Colbert-Busch reflected on growing up during the era of John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy, and how they gave everything for civil rights.
She also reflected on her family – she is one of eleven brothers and sisters – and how her parents, Dr. James and Lorna Colbert ingrained in their children the importance of giving back to the community.
Her father was president of MUSC in the early 1970s, and one of a number of his important accomplishments was guiding the school through a major labor strike, working to facilitate negotiation between the sides and helping resolve the situation in a fair and equitable manner for all, she said. Sadly, Dr. Colbert and two of her brothers died in a plane crash in 1974.
However, Colbert-Busch also noted how one’s life always returns in unusual ways. Just that morning, she noted, she was at an event in Charleston during which a woman came up and spoke to her; the woman was a nurse at MUSC during the strike.
“She told me, ‘your father was a good man,’” Colbert-Busch said. “Your father listened and understood fairness. He was a good man.’”
“This is about us,” she said. “This is about our ability to speak up. It’s about hearing everybody’s voice and being responsible to each other. I couldn’t be prouder to be here today – what a wonderful day.”
LBHS Co Chair Louis Smith thanked all who were a part of the program and thanked the honorees for their contributions to the community. He also pointed out that the community needs to get more involved with youth.
“We are losing too many of our young people to violence, to bad decisions – we need to make that extra effort to reach out to them,” he said.
Campbell-Smith thanked everyone as well and gave one last nod to the honorees.
“To all of the honorees today, we salute you for all you do for your community,” Ethel Campbell-Smith said. “For all that you do, and for all that you will step up to do, we salute you. God bless you.”