- Last Updated on 07:48 AM 01/31/14
- BY By Jewell S. Medley/Special to The Gazette
When one takes the time to broaden horizons to heighten cultural awareness, they tend to learn more than what meets the eye.
The commemoration of Black History Month conveys stories of inspiration of African-Americans who endured tremendous obstacles to leave their legacy. While it is customary to revisit stories about Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey and others, it is just as important to identify local heroes and heroines as well.
In acknowledgement of Black History Month, Dianna Allen Portrait Design is initiating a creative portrait project to spotlight the Top 10 most influential and respected African-American leaders in South Boston/Halifax County.
To determine the top 10, Allen is probing the community at large to nominate up to three prospective recipients. Allen will then contact those 10 finalists to create individual portraits of each.
Toward the end of February, a gallery showing will be held (location to be determined) featuring those portraits and aptly announcing the top 10.
Following opening night of the gallery event, the winning nominations will be announced in local newspapers.
For entries to be considered, one should pick and rank three notable individuals and prepare a short written explanation for each as to why they are nominating this person(s).
Allen said this is not designed to be a popularity contest, as the comments received will serve as justification and will be critical to the decision process. Any nomination received without justifiable comments will not be considered.
A committee will be selected to assist in determining the final selection and with the planning of the event.
Allen, who has donated many hours of her services to illustrate her passion, said photographers around the world choose to create community projects that will allow them to utilize their unique and professional skills to promote important events. She also anticipates this showing will introduce her work and expertise to new audiences.
She said what will make the event special is recipients will be able to see the nominating comments from the general public, as well as, their peers.
Allen is asking the community to support this occasion by illuminating the contributions of living and walking history in Halifax County.
When choosing a nominee, Allen said one should think hard about the leaders who have influenced their lives and the community, such as business personalities, politicians, pastors, teachers, coaches, etc.
Opportunities for sponsorship are available for this event. Allen has created a way to honor and identify local African-American leaders for their contributions.
Modern Black History is alive and well in Halifax County, and Allen said, “May the best men and women be nominated.”