Rose Seawright is a veteran school teacher – thirty three and a half years in the trenches, teaching everything from kindergarten to high school. And judging from the exhibit she has created in our display case, even though she is now retired, Mrs. Seawright still has a few things to share with anyone willing to learn.
For example, did you know that Thomas Martin, an African-American, invented the fire extinguisher in 1872? Or that Lewis Latimer, another African-American, invented a carbon filament for Thomas Edison’s light bulb that allowed the bulb to burn for hours instead of just minutes? Or have you heard of Bass Reeves, an ex-slave, who became one of the best U. S. Marshalls in history, and almost single-handedly cleared the Oklahoma Territory of outlaws and crime in the late 1800s?
Juneteenth is a holiday that should be celebrated by all Americans, not just those of African descent. This day (June 19th) represents the ideal that this country was founded on; freedom for all to dream, to explore, to create, and to become the best they can be, no matter what circumstance they were born into. I call it an ideal because we are still striving toward it after over two hundred years. And I expect we will continue to do so for the next two hundred at least.
So come on in and enjoy Mrs. Seawright’s Juneteenth display. You just might learn something about your past that you did not know, as well as find out about some current events lined up for this year’s celebration.