Black Catholic Church that served as refuge during segregation honored with marker

By | September 2, 2019


NEW AT 5 – WE’RE FOLLOWING-UP WITH A STORY WE FIRST TOLD YOU ABOUT IN FEBRUARY. NEARLY 60 YEARS SINCE A HISTORIC BLACK CATHOLIC CHURCH AND SCHOOL WAS DEMOLISHED — IT’S NOW BEING GIVEN THE RECOGNITION IT DESERVES. (TOM) ST. JOSEPH’S IS BEING HONORED WITH A PLAQUE TO COMMEMORATE ITS PLACE IN HISTORY. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S KARA DIXON HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY. KARA, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE COMMUNITY? (KARA) THOSE WHO WORKED HARD TO GET THIS MARKER UP SAY THIS IS REALLY JUST A TRIBUTE-A THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO WENT TO THRIVING DURING A TIME OF SEGREGATION. BUT IT CLOSED IN 1961. IT’S RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE MCARTHUR CENTER IS LOCATED. AND THOSE WHO ATTENDED OR HAD RELATIVES ATTEND HOPE THIS MARKER WILL SIGNIFY THEIR PLACE IN HISTORY. (KARA DIXON) A COLD FALL DAY COULDN’T STOP THE WARMTH BUDDING WITHIN MELVINA HERBERT’S HEART. I’M OVERJOYED AND I’M NOT UNVEIL A HISTORICAL MARKER-SHARING THE ROOTS OF THEIR FAITHFUL COMMUNITY. NOW WE HAVE A MARKER AND THEY SAY A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS AND SO MUCH MORE TO REMEMBER ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH AND SCHOOLTHAT OPENED IN 1889 AND CLOSED IN 1961. IT PROVIDED REFUGE FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY DURING THE HARD YEARS OF SEGREGATION. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL MONUMENT. IT’S IN THE RIGHT PLACE BECAUSE IT’S WHERE THE FRONT OF THE CHURCH WAS REGINALD RUFFIN WOULD KNOW… I STARTED ST JOSEPHS SCHOOL IN 1939. I WAS 6 YEARS OLD AND MORE THAN 80 YEARS LATER HE STILL REMEMBERS THE LEGACY IT LEFT BEHIND-THE CITY’S FIRST MARCHING BAND, FOOTBALL TEAM, AND AN EDUCATION BY PRIESTS AND NUNS BENT ON MAKING SURE THE STUDENTS SUCCEEDED. THIS IS AWESOME .THIS IS AN HONOR. NOT JUST TO ST. JOSEPH BUT TO THE CITY FOR WHAT ST. JOSEPH PRODUCED AMONG THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE. THEY TOLD US WE COULD DO WHATEVER WE WANTED. AND THAT INCLUDES PUTTING UP THIS MARKER-A TRIBUTE SHOWCASING AND REMINDING US ABOUT THE REAL MEANING OF COMMUNITY. THIS IS JUST A BEGINNING THIS IS JUST A BEGINNING (KARA) WHEN ST. JOSEPH’S CLOSED MANY OF THE PARISHIONERS WENT ON TO THE BASILLICA ST. MARY’S OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION IN NORFOLK. THAT CHURCH BECAME THE ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN MINOR BASILLICA. KARA DIXON 10 ON YOUR

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