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Seniors’ fashion show celebrates African-American history

Black history was put on display, in McDonough, during an African-American Fashion Show, Friday, at the Heritage Senior Center. The event featured more than 30 individuals in African garb, and also included African cuisine.

Black history was put on display, in McDonough, during an African-American Fashion Show, Friday, at the Heritage Senior Center. The event featured more than 30 individuals in African garb, and also included African cuisine.

Black history took a fashionable turn in Henry County Friday, as local seniors donned their best costumes celebrating their ancestry.

The Heritage Senior Center, at 1050 Florence McGarity Blvd., in McDonough, hosted its third annual African-American Fashion Show. The event featured more than 30 men and women, modeling their best African garb.

Elsie Ponder, of McDonough, initiated the program at the Heritage Senior Center. She said the reason she did so, was to fill a void and to pay tribute to those who came before her.

“When I came to the center, I noticed they didn’t have anything about black history,” said Ponder, 66. “So, I asked if I could give a black history fashion show, and from there on, every year, they come to me and asked me about the fashion show. It’s important to me, because that’s my culture, and I believe in my culture.”

Ponder added that the fashion show, which also included African cuisine and a black-history trivia contest, has grown in popularity every year since its inception.

One of the participants in the show, Dorothy Thornton, of McDonough, served as the moderator. Thornton said she enjoys the opportunity to learn about black history through such events.

“I’m of African-American descent, and not too much of our history is really taught in America,” said Thornton. “It’s good to share it with other people, so they can understand where we came from.”

She was pleased to see various races and ethnic backgrounds represented in the audience of people who came to the fashion show.

“Everybody’s history should be acknowledged, and it’s good to see that ... people are blending in, and they’re interested in each other’s origins,” said Thornton.

Roosevelt Harris, 68, of Hampton, was one of two men who took part in the fashion show. He agreed about the need for local residents to learn about black history.

“We’re trying to do our best to continue to educate people ... about the black heritage. This is a great opportunity to do that,” said Harris.

Nita Kerr, the lead activities director for the Heritage Senior Center, applauded area seniors for their collective desire to honor black history through the fashion show.

“It was the seniors’ idea to put this show on,” said Kerr. “They do their own invitations, they do their own programming, their own refreshments and their own outfits.

“They do a fantastic job, and it gets better and better every year.”

For more information about Henry County Senior Services, call (770) 288-7000.