The "Scottsboro Stories" blog reflects the writings, photographs, arrangements, opinions and musings of me, Garry L. Morgan, only. I do not represent the Scottsboro Boys Museum or the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation - the parent organization of the Scottsboro Boys Museum. I receive no profit from this endeavor. This blog is for educational purposes and that of open expression about racial and sexual discrimination, institutional and personal racism and the deadliest war of all time - "The Culture War."


The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case "

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center Tours

Joyce Chapel, home of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. Joyce Chapel was originally built in 1878 and rebuilt in 1904.

 Employees from the local U.S. Department of Agriculture Office stopped by since this is African American History Month.

Ms. Washington talks about the sacrifices made by those that perished during the Civil Rights Movement.

Many are not aware of the young ages of the black youths when they were taken off the train and arrested in Paint Rock, Al., the youths ranged from age 12 - 19.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"The Praying Doctor" presents "Ministry in the Market Place"

"We black folks, our history and our present being, are a mirror of all the manifold experiences of merica. What we want, what we represent, what we endure is what America is. If we black folk perish, America will perish. If America has forgotten her past, then let her look into the mirror of our consciousness and she will see the living past living in the present, for our memories go back, through our black folk of today, through the recollection of our black parents, and through the tales of slavery told by our black grandparents, to the time when none of us, black or white, lived in this fertile land. The differences between black folk and white folk are not blood or color, and the ties that bind us are deeper than those that separate us. The common road of hope which we all traveled has brought us into a stronger kinship than any words, laws or legal claims."
Richard Wright - 12 Million Black Voices (1941)
Dr. Kenneth Pitts is a very special speaker and story teller. He began his presentation with the above quote from Richard Wright. When Dr. Pitts tells a story he places you in the time and place where he was and is at the same moment. A brilliant dramatic, motivational speaker, he credits God for his special talents. It was a privilege and honor to hear and watch Dr. Pitts present his special version of this years theme for African American History Month, "The History of Black Economic Empowerment."
The message: "Ministry in the market place, not the market place in the ministry." Dr. Pitts conveyed 4 scriptural messages in his presentation. The first- John chapter 2, verse 14-22, the story of Jesus in the Temple and the money changers. The second- Acts chapter 2, verse 1-4, The Power of God, the Enabler, the Holy Ghost. The third- John chapter 10, verse 14-18, "I am the good shepherd..." The fourth, closing- 1st Kings chapter 6, verse 11-12, "...the word of the Lord...keep all my Commandments to walk in them; then I will perform my word with thee..."
Dr. Pitts message was simple, follow the word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ and all will be made possible. We are fallible, we stray and we sin, but faith, prayer and placing your life into Gods hands will result in your salvation and your success. All will be made possible with this simple plan. It all begins with the miracle of salvation; John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Dr. Pitts' message solidifies why the Scottsboro Boys Museum's location in Joyce Chapel is so very important. African American history and Christianity in America are inseparable.

Ms Sheila Washington, Chairperson of the Scottsboro Jackson County Multicultural Heritage Foundation presents a welcome package to Dr. Kenneth Pitts our featured guest speaker for February 21, 2010 Black History Month. Article about Dr. Pitts
Councilman Gary Speers presents Dr. Pitts with a Key to the City.

Ms. Washington delivers a warm welcome to today's participants.

Reverend Gary Speers presents the Invocation. Rev. Speers also lead the group in singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Ms. Washington gives a warm Scottsboro thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Pitts for their moving presentation at today's ceremony in the historic Joyce Chapel.

Ms. Candice Lovelady graces the church with a beautiful voice. Her rendition of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" was a beautiful cappella presentation.

Dr. Pitts is a renowned local Obstetrician practicing in Huntsville, Alabama; Dr. Pitts is known as the "praying doctor." He related stories to the group concerning the power of prayer.

Mr. Steven Pitts, Steve is a student at Alabama A&M. Steve operated the audio visual equipment for his dad's presentation.

Mrs. Kathy Pitts, Mrs. Pitts introduced her husband and told the story of their early marriage and how God has moved their family.

This afternoons presentation at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center featured Dr. Kennth Pitts and family of Huntsville, Alabama. Fellowship, music and a message of prayer and faith presented by Dr. Pitts and family highlighted this evenings message.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, Black History Month Program, February 14, 2010

Mrs. Doris Hutchins of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church plays piano for the Stevenson, Alabama Youth choir.

Singers from the Stevenson Youth Choir grace the halls of Joyce Chapel with beautiful sounds of soulful music.

Rev. Gary Speers delivers welcome speech. Rev. Speers is a Scottsboro City Council Member and on the Board of Directors of the Scottsboro Jackson County Multicultural Heritage Foundation and Scottsboro Boys Museum Executive Committee member. Mr. Speers has been instrumental in assuring this museum has come to fruition.

Mrs. Kim Speers, Board of Directors Scottsboro Jackson County Multicultural Heritage Foundation and Scottsboro Boys Museum Executive Committee member. Ms. Speers spoke on African American History. Ms. Speers is a Librarian for the Scottsboro City Schools system.

How beautiful the youthful voices sounded in the 106 year old Joyce Chapel. Joyce Chapel was originally built in 1878 and rebuilt in 1904.

The Stevenson, Alabama Youth choir sung several songs.

Mrs. Hutchins tells the group of 20 on this cold February day about how special the museum is to Jackson County and our nation.

Mr. J.D. Stevens and wife. Mr. Stevens told the group about several stories he remembers from the 1940's.

The Scottsboro Boys in Scottsboro with full contingent of National Guard. This is a very rare picture from The Progressive Age, Apr. 4, 1931. Mr. Mel Klepper donated the newspaper to the museum.

Ms. Sheila Washington delivers invocation. Ms. Washington was the initial driving force for the museum. Ms. Washington also made a presentation related to little known facts of Black history in our nation.

Mr. Franklin McDaniels played several songs on the harmonica. Mr. McDaniels has a fantastic baritone voice as was evident from an archipelago presentation.. Music was a very special part of today's event.

Today's guest speaker was Ms. Frazine Taylor. Ms. Taylor will be rescheduled due to inclimate weather as she lives in Montgomery. Ms. Taylor is the Author of "Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama: A Resource Guide."

The group was small today, 20, due to inclement weather, however this was one of the most interesting and spiritually moving sessions to date.

Many thanks to all who attended and made this event possible.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dedication of The Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center

It has been a while since Joyce Chapel has witnessed near 100 folks enter this historic church.
YouTube video from "Left in Alabama"
Monday's museum dedication-opening and beginning of Black History Month video links: WAFF TV 48

earlier WAAY video
Reverend and Scottsboro City Councilman Gary Speers discusses the Scottsboro Boys Case. Rev. spears delivered the Prayer of Dedication.

Greetings and welcome. "Left in Alabama" story on the museum opening and dedication.

Mrs. Louise Toliver greets folks as they enter Joyce Chapel. Mrs. Toliver is on the right of the picture.

Mayor Melton Potter delivers greetings and the Black History Month Proclamation. Left to Right, Councilman Keith Smith, Reverend and Councilman Gary Speers, Mayor Potter, Mrs. Kim Speers, Executive Committee Scottsboro Boys Museum & Cultural Center, Rev. Cliff Parrish and Ms Sheila Washington both Executive Committee Scottsboro Boys Museum & Cultural Center.

Mr. Franklin McDaniels plays Amazing Grace on the harmonica. One of the fantastic aspects of this beautiful old church is the sound.

February's African American History Month events are listed. Click on the picture to view a close up of the schedule.
The museum opening times in March will be every 2nd and 3rd Saturday from 10AM to 4PM. Other times by appointment. Ph # 256-244-1310.
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum, Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

Excuse my notes on the program. (Click on any picture for an expanded view.)
Judge James E. Horton's Granddaughter Mrs. Cathy Horton Garrett. Mrs. Garrett delivered a wonderful speech concerning her Grandfather's commitment to justice.
"Grandaddy blessed my life as a grandfather and blessed many in the world with his decision. He was an ordinary man who did an extraordinary thing."

Ms. Lecia Brooks, Southern Poverty Law Center, Civil rights Museum Director, Montgomery, Alabama. Ms. Brooks pointed out there are 926 hate groups which are currently known to operate in the United States. Several are located in the North Alabama area.
"It takes a strong courageous community to say we will not hide our heal and say in one united voice, this will never happen again."
From left to right, State Representatives Butch Taylor, Representative John Robinson presents a check for $1000 to Ms. Sheila Washington and Mr. Gary Speers, Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center Executive Committee.

Mrs. Kim Speers, Executive Committee Scottsboro Boys Museum & Cultural Center, Librarian Brownwood Elementary School, delivers welcome speech. "The truth shall set you free."

News Crews from around North Alabama were filming the event. WAFF-48's story: WAAY-31's story: See above videos.

Many thanks to these fine people, left to right, Mr. Garrett, Ms. Brooks, Mrs. Kathy Horton-Garrett, Mrs. Horton, Judge Horton's daughter-in-law and Kathy's mother.

Rep. Robinson and Rep. Taylor.

David Brewer of the Huntsville Times, Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter, Ms. Sheila Washington discuss the museum.

Reverend Cliff Parrish and Ms. Brooks discuss the museum.