Sistas honor citizensPublished 10:43am Friday, May 24, 2013
Community group plans event to honor influential black citizens
Black people rock, and Sistas for a Cause want everyone to know it.
Black People Rock! will be held June 1 at the Cooper Community Center starting at 5 p.m.
“We’ve got a lot of black people that do stuff around the community – folks that help out the needy and that kind of stuff,” said Valarie Ford, Sistas for a Cause president. “We’re just going to make a big program out of it. They’re going to speak on their accomplishments.”
Thirty-five awards will be given out to black people who rock in Alexander City – like Edith Brown, owner of Edith’s Beautique.
“I’m very excited about this,” Brown said. “A lot of people don’t know the things I’ve done in this community. I’ve helped ladies feel good and confident about themselves.”
Brown worked in couple beauty shops before she began working in her mother’s shop, June’s Beauty Salon. Then her clientele base started to grow.
“It got so big that my clients would have to sit outside and wait to get in the chair,” Brown said. “One day my momma said, ‘Your business has grown. You’re going to have to find you another place.’”
Brown found her new building on Jefferson Street next to Piggly Wiggly and has been going strong ever since.
“A lot of people do not know the history of Edith’s Beautique. I’ve been in business ever since 1979, and I’ve been at the same location since 1986,” Brown said. “I’m steady and dedicated with my profession.”
Ford said that’s the goal – to make people aware of the contributions and successes of black people throughout the community – “to let them know that people see what they’re doing and appreciate what they’re doing for them.”
“Last year we had a cancer walk for the community, but this will be the first time we’ve had an event like this,” Ford said.
Another honoree is Lewis Benson, owner of Lou’s Beauty and Style.
“I came up in 1973 as a counselor at the community college,” Benson said. “At the same time I opened up a beauty shop.”
Benson said his shop was one of the first to be opened in the community. He used the opportunity to hire and train new barbers and stylists, many of whom have since opened their own shops.
Benson said it’s uplifting “to know that you’re being recognized in terms of what you have done.”
“I think (having Black People Rock!) is a nice idea,” Benson said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you apply yourself and you’re about helping the community.”
Ford said that focus on the ability to achieve is another aspect of the event.
“I want especially the younger kids to know that no matter what your struggle is, just keep striving for whatever it is you want to do,” Ford said. “You can accomplish whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish.”
Special guest will be Julius Reed of TV’s Bamazon. Attendees are encouraged to wear all black, all white, or a mix of both colors. Ford said a red carpet entrance will welcome attendees to Black People Rock!, providing photo opportunities.