Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender joined the leaders of St. Luke’s at the Breaking the Silence Black History Month Celebration held Sunday afternoon at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hastings in welcoming a full sanctuary of guests for a stirring program that chronicled important milestones in local black history including land and business ownership, efforts to gain the right to vote and the contribution of prominent black families. The event featured a readers theater performance with a half dozen voices telling the stories of several black residents of Hastings in the late 1800s into the 1920s. According to KDWA listener Kelly, using historical records, the presentation focused on those who appeared on early census rolls and described family structure, education, occupations and where black residents lived as the city’s population grew. Twin Cities radio personality Sheletta Brundidge presented the keynote address highlighting the importance to preserve family history through individual storytelling using her signature wit and passion to bring her message to life. The event was followed by a catered meal of soul food, shared among guests and organizers each hoping to build connections and further understanding through future engagements and continued dialogue. HCTV filmed the event and will be compiling the footage into a program that will be replayed online and on their local channels very soon.
(Sheletta Brundidge. Submitted photo)