Keon Pleasant, 6, shares a first dance with his mother, Quaneisha Tyler, at the Mother/Son, Father/Daughter Dance last Friday for J.L. Francis Elementary School students and their parents. The dance was held at Second Baptist Church on Broad Rock Boulevard, with youngsters presenting roses to their parents. Princes and princesses of the dance were crowned. Keon’s grandfather, Anthony Bailey, documents the special occasion in the background.
CITYSCAPE //A portrait of Richmond icon Maggie L. Walker, left, and a marquee message welcome people attending a celebration last Friday at the Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward. The “Dear Co Workers” event celebrated the team of volunteers who helped Heather Huyck, an adjunct history professor at the College of William & Mary, in a seven-year effort to preserve documents, letters and papers of Mrs. Walker and the mutual aid society she led and through which she founded a bank, a newspaper and a department store. The papers are now protected in 20 boxes that owners Margaret T. and Wanda D. Stallings hope to donate to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
CITYSCAPE // The highlight of the three-hour program: The announcement of the find of another box of documents. This latest box, like the other 15,000 documents now preserved and digitized, was found in the attic of the Stallings family’s vacant St. Luke Building in Gilpin Court. The four-story building was once the headquarters of the Independent Order of St. Luke that Mrs. Walker ran for much of her life.
Artistic image of Bojangles statue in Jackson Ward
New home for City Park Church //
Pastor Joe Ellison and his wife, Kendra Ellison, stand in front of Tenth Street Baptist Church, which is renting space to the Ellisons to operate their independent City Park Church. Location: 2300 Fairmount Ave. in Church Hill. The Ellisons, who previously operated a church and day care in Essex Village in Henrico County, plan for their new church to focus on programs and services for residents of the nearby Fairfield Court public housing community. Pastor Ellison also serves as a chaplain for NASCAR and for sports teams in the Richmond area.
Hundreds of volunteers — and a few goats — responded last Saturday to a call to help spruce up historic, but long neglected, East End and Evergreen cemeteries where an estimated 17,000 African-Americans have been buried since the 1890s. Right, Tonya Jefferson snips uncontrolled vines that have taken over many of the gravesites where the likes of businesswoman and civic activist Maggie L. Walker and crusading newspaper editor and banker John Mitchell Jr. are interred.
Richmond Delegate Delores L. McQuinn led the effort. Mayor Levar M. Stoney, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and City Councilwoman Cynthia I. Newbille were among an estimated 200 volunteers who participated. The volunteers also included a few goats. State funding is expected to be available after July 1 to support the volunteer effort to tend the cemeteries.