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Annie Colbert Rosenwald School receives marker

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    Left to right: Linda Jamison, Ernest Bailes, Greg Haymon, Betty Woods, James Grays, Brenda St. Julian-Trahan, Jessica Johnson, Rev. Ivory Kelley gather by the new marker after its unveiling. Photo courtesy of Dickie Dixon
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    James Grays, recently elected President of the Colbert Rosenwald Corporation, reads the history of the schools last Saturday at the marker dedication. Photo courtesy of Jamie Carter Bollich
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    The Annie Colbert Rosenwald School Museum is located right behind the Annie Colbert Museum in Dayton. Photo Courtesy of Jamie Carter Bollich

Last Saturday morning was made to order for dedicating a historical marker: fair, sunny, warm but not too hot. When I arrived about 9:30 a.m., the stage was set: the chairs rowed up, both flags in place with the lectern in between, the PA system working—all due to Linda Jamison’s attention to organization and detail and the boots on the ground under President James Grays:

Brenda St. Julian-Trahan, Betty Woods, LaDonna David, Frosty Pruitt. Roberta Thornton greeted me by giving me a program for the marker dedication. In all, about 60 people attended, including Norbet Westmoreland.

After Linda Jamison welcomed everyone, Rev Ivory Kelley sang a song and delivered the invocation. Brenda St. Julian-Trahan led in the pledges to the flags. Dr. Jessica Johnson, Superintendent of Dayton ISD, proffered a “Colbert Campus Welcome,” and recently elected President of the Colbert-Rosenwald Corporation James Grays read the history of the Annie Colbert-Rosenwald School. Linda Jamison recognized distinguished guests like Greg Hayman, former school ad ministrator, and Liberty County Commissioner Greg Arthur. Honorable Ernest Bailes, State Representative, District 18, made remarks and read a proclamation, as did Liberty County Judge Jay Knight. Because Dian Paul could not come, Betty Woods read the text of the marker.

Linda Jamison asked designated recipients to retire to the location of the marker, whereupon a photo was taken before its unveiling. James Grays unveiled the marker with poses for pictures following. Rev. Ivory Kelly said the benediction; afterward, Sharon Caesar led the crowd in the school song for Colbert High School. Linda Jamison adjourned the crowd and invited everyone to attend the Annie Colbert Rosenwald School Museum nearby on the campus.

The Annie Colbert Rosenwald School was built in the 1930s as a cooperative effort between the local Dayton African-American community and funds provided by Julius Rosenwald.