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Black history to be celebrated Saturday

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

COVINGTON -- A celebration of local black history will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Covington. The 1965 basketball team from R.L. Cousins High School and their late coach, Jimmy Wright, will be honored.

The basketball team made it to the state championship game of the Georgia Interscholastic Association but received little recognition, like most of the black teams that excelled in those days. Former team captain and class valedictorian Johnny Johnson, now living in Pennsylvania, will speak at the event, along with several locals. City Councilwoman Janet Goodman, a member of the 1965 class and an event organizer, said she wants to keep the speakers a surprise.

"(Coach Wright) never received recognition; the team never received recognition. So we want to fix what happened a long time ago. You can always do something to make things better," she said. "This will be a relaxed atmosphere and people won't have to pay. That's important in this economy. We want to remind people things have not always been this way."

Downtown Covington was selected as the location for the event because that was the site of numerous marches during the Civil Rights era. The event will take place at 1138 Monticello Street Banquet Facility.

Goodman said the importance of a good education will also be emphasized.

"If you want to get anywhere, you've got to get an education. That will be the message, as well," she said.

The event will also include entertainment and a reception will be held afterward. Goodman said Covington Mayor Kim Carter suggested having a black history celebration, and the hope is to make it an annual affair. Next year, Goodman says she hopes the celebration will take place during February, Black History Month.