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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Upper Merion Township Library and Friends of Black History's 16th Annual Celebration of Black History: Reaching Back, Moving Forward

Yesterday the Upper Merion Township Library and the Friends of Black History presented the 16th Annual Celebration of Black History. The theme for 2015 was Reaching Back, Moving Forward. It was held at the Upper Merion Township Building, which is located on 175 W. Valley Forge Road in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

The doors opened at 10 AM and DIY activities awaited youngsters and parents. All throughout the snowy day there were vendors selling jewelry, clothes, and handcrafts strewn about the atrium. I arrived at 10:30 AM and had the opportunity to chat with the author Rebecca O. Hayes. Hayes has published Private Cathy's Secrets, and other inspirational and children's stories. She was dressed up as Cathay Williams (Private Cathy), whom was a Civil War soldier but hid her gender to enlist in the Army. Hayes was the living vessel of William's and really brought to life the experiences and
hardships well. I had the opportunity to learn more about William's enlistment (as well as being able to take her War document) and learned more about life out West. I was given a paper about the usage of buffalo and a recipe for hardtack.

At 11 AM, I went into the auditorium where Dr. Daisy Nelson Century was a historical interpreter for Mary Fields. "Black Mary," as Native Americans called her, was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States. Like Hayes with Private Cathay Williams, Dr.
Century was the life vessel of Field's spirit. "Black Mary" came alive and the hour long performance captured the attention of the young and old alike. Some of the jokes told had all age groups laughing. It was awesome seeing children so interested in history; Dr. Century did a great job balancing how to keep things child-friendly but historically accurate. I also really liked the music she played at the beginning on her harmonica. By the end of the show, children were excited to ask her questions and to get pictures with her.

Before I left for the day; I left early since the snow was covering the sidewalks, roads, and grass;I had the soul food lunch. Fried or BBQ chicken were served and you could take your pick of which you wanted. I chose the fried chicken and had it with collard greens and sweet potatoes. Everything was so delicious, I wanted seconds. However, I knew I couldn't go back for seconds  and resolved that I would make this meal one night. I love collards and sweet potatoes, so I don't mind cooking it. Reaching Back, Moving Forward was a great event and I enjoyed attending. The Upper Merion Township Library and the Friends of Black History did a really wonderful job putting this event together.

The cupcake was made by Jessica Thomas, the owner of Live. Love. Bake. 
Amazing cupcake! Jessica can be reached by e-mail:

Dr. Daisy Nelson Century is a Historical Interpreter.
Her website:

Rebecca O. Hayes:


  1. I love the cupcake and the harmonica. :)

    1. The cupcake was amazing! It was a vanilla bean cupcake.

      I've always loved the harmonica and always wanted to play.

  2. It's amazing how many historical events are on in your area; there doesn't seem to be a shortage of them, which is good!