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PIEDRAHITA: Newton County is rich in Black history
Dorothy Piedrahita
Dorothy Piedrahita

What is the meaning of America’s Black History Month? Each year Black history is celebrated in February. How did it come to be? Who created it? And did Black Americans needed a month? Is there a compelling purpose for the continuation of America’s Black History Month? I will answer in the affirmative. Yes!

Black History Month was established as an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. Black History Month was never referred to as Colored People’s Month.

Black History Month should be seen in a larger conversation. A starting point. How to incorporate a larger conversation in America. And included in American history as a whole. This isn’t only a conversation Black Americans should be having among themselves.

Black American history in Covington, Georgia, is valuable if it's only known in Newton County, Georgia. History demands truthfulness.

Newton County is rich in history of Black residents, past and present. Take, for instance, the Spring Hill community on Hwy. 162.

I do not have the complete historical data on the history of Spring Hill community at this time. I have been given a few verbal historical facts. My goal is to seek funding to do more in-depth research into the Spring Hill community by interviewing families. Newton County should become richer and prouder.

Expanding knowledge should be specific. Not buried. Not deliberately forgotten.

Deliberately concealing facts in our educational system has done a grave  injustice to our United States. The road to information is rocky. And it will always be.

Generations come and they go. That’s just how it is. But the written word is forever. Black Americans have contributed to America and our world. As a child my parents purchased a set of encyclopedias for me. I would read those books with great intensity. Those books were mine! I was an only child at that time. At the age of 9.

I was in a spelling bee. The word which knocked me out in the last round was the word encyclopedia. Go figure!

I leave you with a few Black history facts that shouldn’t be forgotten: 

Carter Godwin Wooden was an American historian, author, journalist and the founder of Association of African American Life and History. Wooden has been called the “father of Black history.”

Frederick Jones, a Black American, invented the refrigerators used in trucks, ships and airplanes, plus 60 other patents.

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Janelle Monae — served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of John Glenn into orbit, which turned the Space Race around.

Dorothy Piedrahita is a Covington resident who has worked as an activist and in government and business throughout her career.