Black Gold:
Faith, Strength, and Determination
Shaping Our Community
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Black Gold: Faith, Strength, and Determination Shaping our Community

Merced County Courthouse Museum will open a new exhibit entitled, "Black Gold: Faith, Strength, and Determination Shaping our Community," on Thursday, February 1, 2007 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Featuring historical photographs, artifacts, and oral history, it is the first major exhibit to commemorate the African-American communities of Merced County. This exhibit covering the time period from 1855 to the present is a celebration of their endurance, experience, and legacy. NAACP president and singer Michelle Allison will perform the Negro National Hymn, "Lift your Voice and Sing," and retired school principal Lillian Roberts will give a PowerPoint presentation entitled, "My Life as a Black Educator" at 6:00 pm. This is the first in a series of "Black History Month" events. The event is free to the public and the exhibit will run through June 10.

The African-American Experience Spring Activities

educational programAs an educational component of the Black Gold exhibit, we have planned a series of activities at the Courthouse Museum for young and old alike. There will be story times, discussions, and performances on the following dates until the close of the exhibit on June 17.
Saturday, April 28: Roundtable Discussion. Gwendolyn Wall of Atwater, Jean Greer of Sacramento, and other members of our local African-American families will share their stories of migration, settlement, and community building in a roundtable discussion. Come to see how faith, strength, and determination shape their communities. In addition, helpful hints to help you get started on your family tree project will be given by local genealogist Karen Albright.

Saturday, May 12: Story Time. Merced native Grace Booth will again take on her role as a Storyteller. Her wonderful tales will explore the fascinating African folklore as well as the African-American experience in Merced County.

relax with jazz by belleSaturday, May 26: Relax with Jazz by Belle. Musician Belle Lawrence of Merced invites you to join her in a wonderful world of jazz. Known as one of the finest singles around, she plays alone on keyboards - bass pedals and sings. Her CD entitled, "Relax with Jazz by Belle," will be available for sale.

Saturday, June 9: Poetry Reading. Mildred Walters, Sophia Lewis, Courtney Wills, Doretha Thomas, Joyce Dale, Ed Huddleston, and others will share poems written by black poets and some of their own works.

*The museum is currently compiling a booklet based on the exhibit which will be available for sale this summer. For more information, please contact the museum at or 723-2401.