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Frealing, Qually, and local residents honor Black History Month at the rec park

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Several dozen local residents interested in Black History came to the Charlie Sterner building in the Gettysburg rec park last night to share conversation, information, and food from Grill-rilla. The “Black History Club” event, organized by Gettysburg resident Blessing F. Shahid,  was held in honor of Black History Month.

Shahid said she organized the event because she felt there was a lack of activities and knowledge about Black history in Gettysburg. She said in Philadelphia where she was born and raised Black History Month is celebrated with pride and that is something she would like to bring to the community of Gettysburg.

Mayor Frealing addresses the crowd [Jasmin Herrera]

“Black history does not only consist of slavery, but it also consists of the culture and the accomplishments of our ancestors,” said Shahid.

Joining the group was Gettysburg Major Rita Frealing, County Commissioner Marty Qually, and Gettysburg College History and Africana Studies professor Scott Hancock.

Frealing spoke directly to the theme of Black health, with a focus on dieting and fitness.

Hancock spoke about the status of the Confederate monuments at the national military park and answered questions about them.

Participants read facts from Black History boards highlighting the work of Black doctors, scientists, and hospitals.

The event was the third of four scheduled during Black History Month. The next and last will be held next Wednesday, Feb 23, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Sterner Building. The event will include storytelling, trivia, and will host Juju’s Jamaican cuisine as the food vendor.

“We welcome everyone to come out and celebrate black excellence as a community,” said Shahid. “It is time to not only talk about diversity but to finally be a part of changing the narrative. The town is famous for sharing a one-sided narrative; it is time for a change,”  

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Jasmin is from Hollywood, FL. She is a junior at Gettysburg College, pursuing a bachelors degree in political science with a minor in peace and justice studies. Jasmin is a member of the Gettysburg College softball team and the Chi Omega sorority. She will be writing newsletters and articles for Gettysburg Connection. SHe is very excited to connect with the community members of Gettysburg.

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