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Black History Summer Academy hosts Community Day at The History Museum on the square

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 9:15 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Black History Summer Academy’s Community Day was held earlier today at The History Museum on the square in downtown Springfield. The event was supposed to be held in June but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coordinator of Black History Summer Academy, Gwendolyn Marshall, says young people in the community need to learn about their history.

“If they don’t know where they came from, they surely won’t understand where they’re trying to go,” Marshall says. “So we’re trying to build and develop a group of young people that are very sure of themselves, know the political as well as spiritual history of who they are, where they came from and how Springfield was involved in that history.”

Nearly 100 people came to the museum to see artifacts, videos and photos showing the contributions of the African-American community.

“We have always been here and we have been totally instrumental in the building of this great queen city,” Marshall says.

Aughty Bailey came to the event and says she wanted to learn more about the city she lives in.

“A lot of people move here from other places and they don’t know about all the history that Springfield has,” Bailey says.

Drury University co-sponsored the event. Shannon Cuff, Dean of the School of Education and Child Development, says a lot about local history is unknown to the people living here.

“I think it’s really important for people to know what’s happening in their neighborhood and in their backyards,” Cuff says. “We have a very rich, local, African-American history in Springfield, and speaking as a person who grew up in Springfield, I didn’t learn about that history as a kid.”

Marshall says the event means even more to her this year because of the recent events happening around the country.

“They have a voice right now,” she says. “They don’t have to wait until they become adults. They have a voice in the process. Black lives do matter. Their lives matter and we want to make America, America again.”

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