BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
The Mary S. Harrell Black Heritage Museum celebrated its 23rd Annual Black Heritage Festival last weekend in New Smyrna Beach with food, arts and crafts, hair weaving, and face painting.
The museum offered an opportunity for visitors to learn about local Black history and culture.
The event was dampened by rain on Friday and Saturday but festivalgoers still came out to tour the museum and enjoy the bands.
The museum houses a collection of photographs, memorabilia and artifacts dating back to the early 1960s. The displays educate citizens about history and race relations in smalltown Florida over the course of the 20th century.
‘Proud of what went on’
“We had outstanding entertainment that you would not find anywhere else in the state of Florida. We had some of the finest bands on site,” related the Rev. Lorenzo Laws, chairman of the Mary S. Harrell Black Heritage Museum.
The festival was to celebrate history but also to bring residents throughout the city, the county and the state for tours of the museum and other activities of the festival, he said.
“Overall, the 23rd Black Heritage Festival was truly a great event,” Laws said.
“We had a lot of families that toured the Mary S. Harrell Black Heritage Museum, visited the shotgun house, and although the weather was beyond our control, we did what we had to do to continue on.
We are proud of what went on.”