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Black history month: GJAC honors heritage

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Marlene Frazier, a member of the United Ebony Society, looks at the Society's exhibit for Black History Month at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville on Monday.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Marlene Frazier, a member of the United Ebony Society, looks at the Society's exhibit for Black History Month at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville on Monday.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Marlene Frazier tested her knowledge of prominent leaders in black history Monday afternoon at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Frazier, a member of the United Ebony Society, matched cards bearing the likenesses of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., writer and performer Maya Angelou, Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner and other blacks who have made their marks on history with cards featuring a notable quote and facts, or clues, describing each individual.

The matching activity is part of an exhibit that will be on display throughout February, the month dedicated to celebrating black history.

Lois Solomon, historian for the United Ebony Society, said the organization has compiled the displays within the exhibit for about the past 16 years.

"We still find that there is really a need and that the schools aren't teaching it and so many of the programs and media that used to promote and highlight African-American achievement, it's really not there anymore," she said. "We hope by continuing this we will be increasing and promoting cultural awareness and we can also enhance self-esteem."

One of the highlights of the exhibit is a display titled "A Taste of Africa," which carries over from a program Sunday held annually to mark the beginning of Black History Month. This year's speaker was Dr. Kenneth Willhoite, founder and president of the Soul Food Museum in Atlanta, who discussed the influences the African heritage has had on food, clothing and more. The display within the Black History Month exhibit details foods, such as yams and okra, that were brought to America by slaves.

Gwinnett residents can view "A Taste of Africa" and other displays in the exhibit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through February at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. For more information on the exhibit, call Solomon at 770-822-4046.