Tue Jul 5, 2022

august, 2021

21aug12:00 pmThe George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center open house, Justesen book-signingThe center, located at 731 Farmers Union Rd. in Clarkton, is an ongoing project of the Benjamin and Edith Spaulding Descendants Foundation, Inc.

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Event Details

The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center will hold an open house Saturday, Aug. 21, from 12 noon–2 p.m. featuring a talk on the life of the 19th-century Congressman whose legacy it honors.

The center, located at 731 Farmers Union Rd. in Clarkton, is an ongoing project of the Benjamin and Edith Spaulding Descendants Foundation, Inc. When completed, it will be a living memorial to the Bladen County native George Henry White, who was raised in Columbus County. White became the last African American elected as a Republican to the U.S. House in the nineteenth century. He served from 1897 to 1901. 

Visitors will be able to walk through the house between noon and 1 p.m. Due to the recent spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, organizers are requiring all participants to wear face masks while at the center.

At 1 p.m., Ben Justesen, whose 2001 biography of George Henry White was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, will speak and answer questions. He will sign books for sale from 1:30–2 p.m.

After seven years of research, Justesen published his sixth book, “Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality,” in 2020.

“Forgotten Legacy” revisits the era of the nation’s 25th president, William McKinley (1843-1901), who worked closely with Congressman White and other African American leaders to help improve the lives of Black Americans before his assassination.

In the 1970s, Justesen was a reporter for The News ReporterThe Sanford Herald, and The Fayetteville Observer.

The 120-year-old farmhouse has received extensive work to make it safe and usable. Work has included repairs to the roof, exterior walls, windows and both porches; installation of plumbing; construction of two bathrooms and a kitchen; addition of a handicapped-accessible ramp and the removal of an interior wall with strengthening of the foundation to create a large meeting space.

Farmers Union resident Ocie Jones is the local superintendent of the renovation project. Jones was the 2020 recipient of the George Henry White Pioneer Award for his work to turn the house into a community center and his other volunteer efforts serving the people of Bladen and Columbus counties. 

Vince Spaulding, organizer of Saturday’s gathering, said that the talk will move outdoors if necessary to accommodate the crowd safely. More information is available at georgehenrywhite.com.

Time

(Saturday) 12:00 pm

Location

The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center

731 Farmers Union Rd.

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