Black History Month celebration honors local Quincy heroes

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In celebration of Black History Month, people gathered Sunday to celebrate a trio of heroes who made their mark in Quincy.

People gathered at the historical Dr. Richard Eell’s House to celebrate a group of unsung heroes.

“Black History Month is very important to this house and to the friends of Dr. Eells and this community,” Dr. Richard Eell’s House Board Member Mettazee Morris said.

Three heroes were highlighted; Father Augustus Tolton, the first black priest in America, William Dallas, the first black Quincy police officer and Col. George Iles, a World-War II Tuskegee Airman.

Gwendolyn Gulley-Pleasant came to speak about Colonel Iles.

“He proved to the world along with many other famous Tuskegee Airman, that blacks were just as intelligent as anyone else,” Gulley-Pleasant said. “So they were able to learn to fly airplanes and did a great job serving our country.”

It’s a history lesson that members of the Dr. Richard Eell’s House board deem important.

“It’s very important because some people don’t know about the heroes and when they come and hear, they’re excited that someone from our community is actually part of celebration,” Board Member Mettazee Morris said.

The day also included tours through the historical house– which was once apart of the underground railroad.

“We have repaired and restored this house and this house is the oldest brick house in Quincy and so we are very proud of it,” Morris said.

People, like Gulley-Pleasant, said this is a lesson that should be passed down.

“It’s very important, especially for black children to know that they can also be successful and their name can go down in history,” Gulley-Pleasant said.

Officials with the Dr. Richard Eells House board said they are always accepting donations to help keep up maintenance needs on the house. People can mail any donations to the house at 514 Jersey Street.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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