City of Guin presents Black history exhibit

Guin City Councilwoman Regina Salter stands in front of the Black history exhibit at city hall which she has worked on.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
GUIN — During the month of February, the City of Guin will be presenting a Black History Month exhibit in city hall.
The historical display will honor Black pioneers who paved the way from the late 60s to the early 2000s.
These figures broke down barriers in the workplace, on the fields and courts of athletics and in city government.
Guin City Council woman Regina Salter said the exhibit came about after the city council voiced its desire to honor the first Black city councilman.
“We wanted to honor Cerrell Metcalfe, first Black male to be elected for City of Guin,” Salter said. “Then for myself, I’m the first Black female to be elected in the City of Guin and in Marion County. That’s what we were going to do first, but then I realized there’s so much history here that can be displayed. I love history, so why not display the history of my people?
“We had some pioneers to be the first Black owners of restaurants, or the first Black members to serve on boards or the first Black person to work for the city. That opened up so many doors for others to say, ‘Let me try it.’ To me, that speaks a lot of our city, because there were a lot of firsts here, and somebody had to have the heart to be willing to open the doors.”
Salter said the display is something she has been working on for a while, and she has learned a lot along the way.
“The mayor and city council let me take this on as my own project, and they’ve supported me all the way,” she said, while sitting at a table covered in folders full of historical records labeled by year. “When I first started, I didn’t realize just how much Black history we have. It goes from 1967 to 2000, so there are a lot of displays I’m working on.
“The first goal is to honor the Blacks, the pioneers, trailblazers—the ones who had to go through things that I never have experienced, as far as the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation. I also want people to realize that in our city, we had a lot of things going on during that time.”
Salter said part of the display also goes into the history of how athletics played a role during that time.
“Also, I want to let people know that we won a lot of championships in the 70s,” she said. “But in order to win those championships, there had to be relationships built to work as a team. That’s my main thing, is just to let people know about this.”  
Salter said she hopes younger members of the community take away important lessons from the exhibit.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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