Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee Hosted a Reception to Welcome Dr. Willie Griffin Home
By FRAN FARRER
CHARLOTTE, NC – Last month, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee hosted a reception at the James B. Duke Memorial Library on the campus of the historic Johnson C. Smith University to welcome Dr. Willie Griffin back home.
Griffin 43, a Charlotte native, returned home to accept the position of Historian for the Levine Museum of the New South. He shared with guests, “After relocating my family multiple times, I told my wife this is our final move. I’m home.”
The reception gave Dr. Griffin an opportunity to re-connect with several old acquaintances, and even heard from former Mecklenburg County School Board chair and current Black Political Caucus chair, Author Griffin, that he’d been asked if the younger Griffin was his son – to which they each gave a chuckle.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Heritage Committee felt it only fitting that they host a reception considering he becomes a viable partner in acquiring Black history for the City of Charlotte.
Griffin who has taught at West Charlotte High School, UNC Chapel Hill, and the Citadel confessed that he knew very little about the mark his own family played in the Civil Rights Movement and opening the doors of Charlotte to people of color. Guests could tell by his comments, his ambitions to unfold Charlotte’s great history has soared to yet another level.
Crafted to be a relaxed event, CMBHC President, Kelley Eaves-Boykin welcomed the guests and shared the occasion; Monika Rhue, Director of Library Services at Johnson C. Smith University brought greetings; the invocation was delivered by Janet Garner-Mullins, CMBHC Board member; and Words from One Historian to Another were presented by former Levine historian, Dr. Tom Hanchett. Music was provided by saxophonist, Wil Lee.
About Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee:
The mission of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee (CMBHC) is to foster the sharing of this region’s history as it relates to African-Americans, taking particular note of those communities which have been lost due to urban growth. CMBHC seeks to preserve and present with honor African American history and culture in the city of Charlotte and the larger Mecklenburg County. CMBHC will work with other community groups and organizations t enhance their efforts to preserve our history and will create and support other events, activities and programs consistent with our goals.