Black history event fills Sankofa center

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

A crowd of about 150 people filled Reuben Salters’ Sankofa Cultural Arts Center in Dover Friday night.

It was a unique night of music, fashion, style, theater, history and fun.

The Rev. John G. Moore Sr. closed the show with a recital of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“What we have proven tonight by coming together in a great collaboration of a citywide black history celebration is that we can come from our various churches, our various communities, regardless of the color of our skin, and we can prove that we love one another and that black history is American history,” said the Rev. John G. Moore Sr. at the close of the night’s entertainment.

“As we move forward as a great capital city, the only way that we’re going to solve some of the issues that we’re dealing with — some of the crime, some of the hatred, some of the racism — is to be able to stand up collectively and make sure that Dr. King’s dream remains alive.

“It takes us getting off the sidelines of caution and being courageous,” he added. “It takes us coming out from the stained glass windows of our churches and meeting the problems on the street where they are. If we can do this, we can see that America should be the nation that it can be.”

The program was presented by the Delaware State News, Chesapeake Utilities and the Inner City Cultural League.

Highlights of the show included music from Carlos Holmes, Don and Delores Blakey and others.

Reba Hollingsworth gave an interesting presentation on her school years in Delaware and the start of her career in education. She started first grade in 1932 “in Milford, Delaware, a long time ago” during segregation years.

“My parents always told me that education was the ticket to a better way of life,” she said.

Dr. Hollingsworth went to school in Milford through the ninth grade, the highest offered and the final grade for many black students. With others, she shared a bed in Dover so she could attend 10th grade and continue her education.

Maxine Lewis and Michael Angelo gave presentations on hats and hair, respectively.

The Blakeys offered a sample of their recent program on Rosedale Beach in Sussex County. In its heyday, the resort hosted such performers as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and Duke Ellington.

The latter inspired a lively version of “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” for Friday’s night’s show.

The Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, located on West Street in Dover, was opened in November 2015 after 15 years of fundraising and community support.

Former Dover city councilman Reuben Salters, through his work with the Inner City Cultural League, championed the center as a home to after-school educational and recreational programs to increase children’s appreciation and awareness of culture and the arts.

A fund-raising gala for the center is planned for Saturday, March 25, at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover.

Call (302) 883-2180 for ticket information.

***

Readers hopefully have noticed some new video features in the past few weeks that have been produced by Polytech broadcast media students Torie Seagraves and Maureen Iplenski.

On Friday, we published a video the seniors did on Polytech’s spring production, “Hello Dolly.”

With this editor’s column on the web, the two student’s videos of an interview with the Rev. Moore have been getting good reviews.

In a few days, we will have clips from a Friday interview with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons that were recorded in the school’s studio.

With Delaware State News reporter Matt Bittle asking the questions, the senator covered issues on taxes, health care, Russia and more.

The senator has been on national television quite a bit in recent weeks related to the goings-on in Washington, D.C., where he has been challenging the Trump administration.

“It’s funny because I’ve made no greater effort to be on,” he said. “But I’ve done a lot of CNN, MSNBC and Fox lately.”

Sen. Coons joked that he used to think he was thought of as being “too boring” to be on TV.

“Now, I think I’m reassuringly reasonable,” he joked.

***

Last weekend’s greatest president debate — Abraham Lincoln or George Washington — drew quite a crowd to the Old State House in Dover on a rare warm, sunny February Sunday.

The only modern reference to the presidency came from Tom Welch who was arguing Washington’s case in closing remarks.

“It’s just been called to my attention that a recent CNN survey declared that Lincoln was the greatest president,” said Mr. Welch. “But it has been pointed out to me that CNN is fake news.”

***

Thinking about Presidents Day, it was a remarkable difference from what we normally experience weather-wise.

Last year, we had two inches of snow on holiday.

In 2011, 2014 and 2015, Dover had four inches on or the day after Presidents Day.

You’ll likely recall, too, that there was 23 inches of snow in early February 2010 and Kent County got hammered again in the days just before Presidents Day. Viola, according to some stats this editor found in the archives, had another 11 inches dumped on it.

And, of course, you can’t think about Presidents Day weekend snowstorms without thinking about 1979 when the East Coast was walloped.

That was the year NASCAR enjoyed a captive audience for the Daytona 500, a pivotal moment for sport.

How many of you are thinking we might be getting through a winter without a massive snow storm?

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.