– African American Museum to host Zoom celebration of Grandparents Day
Sunday, Sept. 12, is National Grandparents Day.
President Jimmy Carter, himself a grandfather many times over, had a great idea back in 1979 when he signed legislation marking the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.
Actually, the idea first sprang from a West Virginia lady named Marian McQuade. McQuade wanted to assure that the many contributions of senior citizens to families and to the nation at large be recognized.
As both a senior citizen and the grandfather of two of the world’s brightest and most handsome boys, I’m with Carter and McQuade. We old folks do contribute a lot, but no job is more important than spoiling our grandchildren.
Dot Guthrie, founder and curator of the African American Museum of History and Culture in Gastonia, as well as a member of the Gaston County School Board, knows just how important grandparents were in her life and how important they remain in the lives of so many families today.
“I loved going to visit my grandmother,” Guthrie said, her eyes shining with the memory. “I didn’t mind throwing the bread crumbs to the chickens, or fetching the water from the well, or sleeping on a mattress where you could feel the straw inside. None of that mattered; I was with my grandmother.”
And today, of course, a lot of grandparents are doing duty as parents to their grandchildren, Guthrie noted, and they too need recognition.
“The first year the museum was open, we celebrated Grandparents Day,” Guthrie remembered. “We had grandparents sharing memories, and grandparents having photos made with their grandchildren.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means such a face-to-face gathering is impossible this year, but Guthrie has instead planned a virtual celebration of Grandparents Day, sponsored by the museum, on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m.
“It will be all about memories, all about stories, all about the contributions grandparents make in the lives of their grandchildren and in the life of the community,” Guthrie said.
The virtual event will be hosted on Zoom and may be accessed at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8465119686.
Stories and memories about grandparents will be shared by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Adams and by Jennifer Brown, whose grandmother, Dr. Gwendolyn Smith, was the first Black woman to attend UNC Chapel Hill.
The grandparents who will share memories include Bettye Canada and her granddaughter Camryn Massey, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Geathers, Mr. and Mrs. Henry McPhatter, and retired educator Amarintha Whitener.
Lisa Spikes and grandson K’Mari will talk about the importance of the performing arts, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Odom will talk about the importance of the visual arts.
In addition, a brief history of “The Green Book,” a traveling guide for black families in the Jim Crow era, will be presented by the Gazette’s oldest columnist, one Bill Poteat.
The event will be hosted by another set of grandparents, the Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth Falls.
So after finishing lunch and before watching football on the 12th, hook up with the Zoom production and celebrate the history and heritage of National Grandparents Day and of grandparents everywhere.
For additional information, call 704-616-5185.
Bill Poteat may be reached at 704-869-1855 or [email protected]