Angela Sailor - Black history month speaker
Speaker shares grandmother's advice
White House official never let her skin color be a hindrance
Times-News Staff Writer
CUMBERLAND — When Angela Sailor was a child, she used to sit on the front porch of her grandmother's house with her grandmother. They would rock on the porch swing, stare up at the stars in the sky and sip ice water.
"Don't ever let the color of your skin be a hindrance to doing the things God told you to do," Grandmother would say.
Sailor's grandmother would tell her that she could accomplish her goals because she had the love and support of her family, community and God.
Sailor believed her grandmother and took her advice. Today, she is the associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
She was the keynote speaker at the Black History Month program at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church on Sunday evening. Besides Sailor, the program was filled with dance, music and scripture.
Baxter Wright, chairman of the department of social work at Frostburg State Sailor "Just because you might be the only person in the room who looks like you, doesn't mean you don't belong."
Associate director. White House
Office of Public Liaison University, was the master of ceremonies for the event.
"It's difficult to keep slavery in context with time," said Wright.
His great-grandmother was born a slave. His father was born only 50 years after the passage of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which freed all slaves.
"We think of slavery as a long time ago, but it's not all that long ago," said Wright.
Local elected officials and dozens of community members were on hand for the remembrance and celebration of the role African-Americans have in U.S. history.
"For over 400 years, we helped build America. We helped make America strong," said Wright.
"Nobody can understand this country America without understanding the African American experience," said Sailor.
Wright encouraged the young people in the audience to speak with Sailor and her husband and learn from them.
"Find out how they made such great strides in life," said Wright.
Sailor's talk focused on this year's theme for Black History Month, "The Color Line Revisited: Is Racism Dead?"
Sailor stated various examples of racism and called them "just flat out wrong."
"Racism is an ugly little beast that pokes its head up in different ways," said Sailor.
She spoke of some of the solutions that President Bush is proposing to help combat racism. Foremost among them is Bush’s focus on improving education for all.
"This resonates back to the issue of no child left behind, hence no adult left behind, hence no American left behind," said Sailor.
She also spoke of health care, Social Security and faith based initiatives as being ways to combat racism or promote it depending on how they are handled.
"Sometimes, it will be lonely. Just because you might be the only person in the room who looks like you, doesn't mean you don't belong... Other people may not look like you but some of them will be working on the same mission that I am," said Sailor.
Photograph by John A. Bone/Times-News
Entering Metropolitan A.M.E. Church for Sunday's Black History Month program are, from left, Ebenezer Full Gospel Baptist Church Pastor John McIntyre Sr., speaker Angela Sailor and Metropolitan A.M.E. Pastor Alfred Deas Jr.
James Rada, Cumberland Times-News
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008