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City Cemetery honors Black charter

Gigi Tinsley | 2/6/2014, 9 a.m.

The 21st annual Commemorative Service and Youth Talent on Parade program will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE 2nd Ave.. and Biscayne Park, next to the cemetery.

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson will bring greetings and make presentations to the Essay Contest and Youth Talent On Parade winners. Other program participants include: Mrs. Becky Roper Matkov, President of Dade Heritage Trust; James McQueen, Esq., Chief of Staff and Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

Honorees include William D. Bascomb, a Black man whose signature is on the City of Miami’s Charter as an incorporator and whose newly installed headstone will be unveiled during the ceremony; Mrs. Gwendolyn H. Welters and Mrs. Juanita H. Jackson, two members of the African American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust, who died last year, will be posthumously honored.

According to the 1900 Federal Census, Bascomb was born in South Carolina in June, 1866. He was married to Hattie F. Bascomb and together they had one son, John. Bascomb was said to be one of the Black men who sided with those who believed Miami should become a city instead of remaining a Village. The Charter reflects the name and race of every man that signed it as an incorporator.

The information garnered about Bascomb was researched by Mrs. Edna J. Williams.

“If we don’t keep our children, friends and family members informed of the debts and lives our relatives paid so we can be where we are and have what we have today, no one else will,” Mrs. Georgia Jones-Ayers, the founder and CEO of the Carrie P. Meek Comprehensive Center said.

The talent will be provided by: Keya, Kayla and Kaysia Curtis; Chrystian Rembert, Breana and Brittane Rolle, Jaquan Cannon, Adonnas Jones, Jarron Chandler, Twyon Bowe and others. Dr. Richard Strachan is the producer and musician and Mrs. Leome Culmer is the program chairlady.

The Essay Contest Topic is “Why I Am Proud of My Heritage.” The winners will be announced by Mesdames. Anita McGruder and Retha Boone-Fye.

“Our heritage is very important to us and this is one sure way to disseminate historical information and make sure our pioneers’ legacies are never forgotten,” Dr. Enid Pinkney said.

The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be served.