The following column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Mar. 1 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch:
The program presented by Susan Goodier, noted Women’s Rights Scholar, at the Historic U.A.M.E. Church described the powerful influence of Black Women leaders in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Ms. Goodier gave a wonderful, educational overview of a vital time in history that changed not only Black History but American History. I applaud the Historical Society and Humanities, New York for sponsoring the event. This was exactly the intent of how the restored U.A.M.E. Church was to be used. The questions from the audience, followed by discussion, was the kind of sharing that is so important to understand our rich cultural ties to African American History.
Many of the people in the audience were also at the E’lissa Jones concert at the new U.A.M.E. Church Friday night. Hardly a seat was left in the house. An Evening with E’lissa Jones was magic. It was made even more special with the World Premier of her group, The Hudson Valley Ebony Strings. The Ebony Strings is a youth group formed to showcase talented African American musicians.
Both of these events celebrated Black History and spotlighted the important role of women. E’lissa is an extraordinary musician, but also a teacher. Her musical activities such as the Wire Choir and the Ebony Strings will profoundly affect the future of young men and women.
The events I speak of occurred with the work and talent of Susan Goodier, E’lissa Jones, Pastor Katherine Brooks, Sister Denise Smith, Lisa Ann Weisbrod, Catherine Anders and Mary Collura. This was a wonderful weekend of Black History made possible by some very remarkable women.
The next Village Board meeting will be held on Mon., Mar. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall.