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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Monument to present ‘African American Trailblazers’ program

  • DIAMOND — A program dedicated to telling the story of African Americans who have made an impact on American history will be highlighted on Saturday and Sunday.
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  • DIAMOND — A program dedicated to telling the story of African Americans who have made an impact on American history will be highlighted on Saturday and Sunday.
    The slide show presentation titled “African American Trailblazers” will be held at 1 p.m. each day at the George Washington Carver National Monument. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.
    “We will talk a little bit about some of these lesser-know African Americans in history,” said Doug Bazar, park guide. “Often times when people talk about American history, they talk about names that many people recognize such as Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver, but there are many other African Americans that made great contributions to our society. And we try to focus a little bit more on some of those lesser know people.”
    Bazar said he would highlight 15 people during his presentation.
    “(For example), Dr. Charles R. Drew, he was a blood preservation specialist,” said Bazar. “I believe he was the first director of the American Red Cross. So he worked to develop blood banks. (Then there is) Jesse Owens, a great American athlete from the 1930s. Then I have somebody like Shirley Chisholm, she was the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and was also the first woman to run for president.”
    Another African American who Bazar will talk about is Crispus Attucks.
    “He was one of the first people who died in the American Revolutionary War, he was killed at the Boston Massacre,” he said. “That is a name that occasionally people will see, they will remember the name from their history books, just because it is a name ‘Crispus,’ you don’t hear that too much.”
    Asked if it was hard to find information about these lesser-known African Americans as the topic of the presentation, he said, “it kind of varied. Some people it is difficult to find stuff on and other people there has been a number of books that have been written about them. Some people even have their own national park sites. Some of these people that lived in the 1800s or the early 1900s, they have sort of gotten lost in the shuffle of history. You can find stuff, but there might not be a whole lot of necessarily new material out there to work with.”
    Bazar also noted that African Americans played a big part in our history.
    “Oh absolutely, this country would not be what it is today without the contributions of African Americans,” he said. “There is some neat stuff out there. So hopefully folks will show up and we can learn about them together.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Bazar said the monument is pleased to put on this event, which is held every quarter.
    For more information, call George Washington Carver National Monument at 325-4151.

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