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Five chosen for Rural Black Women Hall

ALBANY, Ga. -- Five area women, including the late Jane Austin-Taylor of Albany, will be inducted into the Southern Rural Black Women's Hall of Fame Saturday in a ceremony at Albany State University's HPER Gymnasium.

The inductees, who were nominated for inclusion in the hall by their peers for their courage and leadership in Southwest Georgia, were previously honored at a regional ceremony in Tougoloo, Miss., at which hall inductees from Mississippi and Alabama were also recognized.

"We identify these women as unsung heroes," Linda Riggins with the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education said of the inductees. "They are the women who rose up and overcame whatever obstacles were in their way to become leaders in their communities.

"I believe it's more meaningful to the honorees that they were nominated by their peers. The nominees are reviewed by a regional panel that makes the decision on which will be inducted into the hall of fame. We have the ceremony every two years."

In addition to Austin-Taylor, who with her husband Barry Taylor owned and operated Austin and Taylor Funeral Home in Albany and served one term as Dougherty County's coroner, the inductees who will be honored Saturday include Judy Belinda Hall of Sylvester, Hattie Mae Burrows of Abbeville, Charlie Lee Rodwell of Fitzgerald and Vivian Gervin-Smith of Camilla.

Hall, an ASU graduate, is the founder and pastor of Jesus Christ Tabernacle of Deliverance church in Sylvester and is CEO of the nonprofit Family Visions Outreach. McBurrows, the first licensed cosmetologist in Wilcox County, owned and operated a beauty shop in Rochelle for 11 years. She later became the first black supervisor in her department as a dietitian/nutritionist at Abbeville Nursing Home and was the first black, and only woman, to serve on the Wilcox County School Board.

Rodwell was an educator and a civil rights activist in Ben Hill County who also served as a deaconess at her church. She is the only woman selected to serve on the board of the Ben Hill County Civic League, for which she held the office of secretary. Gervin-Smith taught homemaking and music for 25 years in Baker and Mitchell counties and worked 12 years as the first black welfare caseworker for the Mitchell County Department of Family and Children Services.

Saturday's induction ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Keynote speaker for the evening will be broadcasting executive and noted civil rights activist Xernona Clayton.

The Southern Rural Black Women Initiative for Economic and Social Justice/Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education Inc. is a multiyear project sponsored by the Ford Foundation to create new economic opportunities in the "Black Belt" of Southwest Georgia, Alabama and the Mississippi Delta. The Hall of Fame promotes a sense of pride among Southern black women and preserves inductees' local legacies and histories.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

If you took the element of "non-profit" out of this equation all you would have left is a big puddle of piss.

How many of these Ladies drives a high priced luxury import? Un-huhh there's your sign!

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MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

PERHAPS, IN THE INTEREST OF PROVIDING THESE DESERVING LADIES A FITTING MONUMENT TO THEIR SACRIFICES, THE GOVERNOR SHOULD APPROPRIATE THE NECESSARY FUNDS TO BUILD A SOUTHERN BLACK WOMEN'S MUSEUM AND WILDLIFE PRESERVE. IT WOULD BE SELF SUSTAINING THROUGH TICKET SALES TO VISIT THE MUSEUM THE PETTING ZOO AND THE TRAIN RIDES THRU THE PRESERVE. NOT TO MENTION THE T.V RIGHTS WHEN NEW INDUCTEES ARE SELECTED ANNUALLY.

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rightasrain 1 year, 9 months ago

That's discrimination; there should be equally, "Southern Rural White Women".

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hotdog 1 year, 9 months ago

Why do you hate black people so much?? You are a big puddle of piss

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VietVet1 1 year, 9 months ago

"Southern Rural Black Women's Hall of Fame "

I hate when you have to DIVIDE race - Why couldn't it be Southern Rural Women's Hall of Fame? Once you add color it becomes racist.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

Just like Miss Black America. Imagine if we had a Miss White America, they would not stand for that.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 9 months ago

You seem to be quite intelligent and reasonable (unlike the crippled old lady). I am sure you understand that most organizations that still carry "Black" in their title originated in a time when Blacks weren't allowed in the "regular ones...ie. HBCU, Miss Black America etc..... Come on lets use that VSU education......

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MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS VERY TRUE BUT THESE TITLES COME OFF AS EXCLUSIONARY AND THE VERY EXAMPLE OF THE FORM OF RACISM THAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE NEED FOR THE "BLACK" TITLE IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT SAYS IF YOU'RE NOT BLACK YOU CANNOT PARTICIPATE. BLACK FOLK HAVE TRANSCENDED THE NEED TO HAVE SEPARATE BUT EQUAL ENTITIES.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

"Black" in their title originated in a time when Blacks weren't allowed in the "regular ones...ie. " If that were still true, I would agree with you 100%, but now that Blacks are allowed in the regular ones as you say, my question is, Why is there now still a need to have a Miss Black America? I stand by my original comment that in todays time, if they had a Miss White America the Blacks would not stand for it and would be crying racism.

In today's time, people preach that they want to end racism, but the only racism I see that they want to end is white racism, as it seems to be okay for there to be black racism.

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B4it 1 year, 9 months ago

Truth.., I am not sure which way you are directing your comments. Are you in favor of keeping "Black" as part of the title, or not keeping it?

As another point of view, consider there used to be water fountains for "whites only" and bathroom facilities designated for the same. These designated names have been removed, and rightfully so.

Don't you think it is time to remove the word "black" from the various designated groups? (e.g. - Black Causcus, Miss Black America, Black Women's Hall of Fame, AOL's Black Voices, etc, etc, etc.)

And for Hotdog, why do you assume someone hates someone who is black just because they may be offended by using a descrimintory label?

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TRUTH101 1 year, 9 months ago

Although African Americans have been “invited” into “mainstream” (white) America, it does not mean we have to let go of what we created during those unjust times. Sure, many will say “You fought for equality and now that you have it you still separate yourselves.” If there was true equality there may be some truth to those that think this way. However, just because blacks are allowed in does not mean they actually get in. Let’s start at the colleges. Sure UGA now allows African- Americans in but when has 30k+ and only 4-5k African Americans (probably less) the playing field is still not even, which is why there is still a need for HISTORICALLY Black Colleges and Universities. Miss Black America…..2 out of 50…and your telling me times have changed that much. I think not. It is the same as the old Jim Crow Laws. Sure, Legally you can vote but we are going to make it d@mn hard…….

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B4it 1 year, 9 months ago

Truth.. Sounds like you still have some racial prejudices you need to deal with. There are no promises of being equal in all aspects of life. For instance, do you feel there is racial equality in selecting pro or college basketball players? Should we make sure there are an equal number of each race on each team?

I think what some are saying is if the racial labeling were reversed, the reactions would be much different from other races. What does having these racial labels accomplish if they continue to offend others and bring emphasis to being separate? THINK about it.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 9 months ago

Basketball analogy...TOUCHE........However, lets not play stupid. You are talking about a million dollar industry. Of course they are going to go after the best talent. But riddle me this Batman? Would you want a judge that was a run of the mill lawyer or one of the more talented lawyers. Now that you have answered that, think about the coaches of the FBS schools......

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Somebody 1 year, 9 months ago

Same thing could be said about baseball, but then you have Jesse Jackson complaining there is not enough African Americans in baseball. Blacks from the Dominican Republic or other Latin American countries didn't count. They had to be African American. So basically here you have a black being prejudiced against other Blacks because they are not African American. In other words, unless you are an African American, you don't count as being black.

So if you have a black winning Miss America and then you have your Miss Black America, That's two blacks representing America with no whites. People would still ask, Where is our Miss White America? Oh we can't have that, that would be offensive and an act of racism. Then they will want a Miss Spanish America, A Miss Pacific islander America, A Miss Asian America and a Miss Middle Eartern America. Where does it end? There should be just one Miss America period.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 9 months ago

The Miss America contest started in 1921 and even in 1935, per "rule number seven," it stated "contestants must be of good health and of the white race". Not until 1975 were African-American women allowed to participate. That's 54 years of NOT being allowed to participate. .......Miss Black America was created in 1968 to protest the racism of the original "Miss America." So until Miss Black America turns 54, there shouldn't be any reason to get rid of it. Fair is fair.

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sowegap 1 year, 9 months ago

A lot of things in Southwest Georgia are still segregated, example: Two Retired Teachers organizations in Terrell County, one for Blacks and one for Whites.

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erock 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm glad to see that you have your priorities in order.

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