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I WAS JUST THINKING: African American Educators honored at Hall of Fame in-person luncheon

African American Educators
The inductees gather up front after the Induction Ceremony. They are: (Front row, seated lt. to rt.) Judge Kim Brown representing inductee Dr. Helen Young Jones who was ill, Dr. Delores Seamster, Lela Herron, Harnell Price Williams, Shirley R. Fisher. (Back row, standing lt. to rt.) Rev. Darrell Pryor representing his late father Rev. George W. Pryor who posthumously was awarded the Trailblazer Award, Carolyn Bailey, Carolyn Thompson, Orethann Price, Dr. Robbie Pipkins, and Billy Allen representing the African American Museum at Fair Park that displays inductees’ portraits. Inductee Willie Crowder was absent and not photographed due to illness. / Photo credit: Robert Davis

COVID-19 had to take a backseat to this determined group of educators who showed that they would not be stopped from giving honor where honor was due.

The African American Education Archives and History Program (AAEAHP) inducted 10 standout educators into its Bobbie L. Lang Hall of Fame at an Induction Ceremony Luncheon Saturday April 2, 2022 at the Hilton Garden in Duncanville. These were inductees from the year 2020 in that the coronavirus pandemic forced public ceremonies to be postponed that year and after.

Greg Fields, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) meteorologist, moderated the program, and students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts provided musical entertainment.

AAEAHP President Dr. Alfred Roberts said the 2020 inductions will now increase the number of educators to 166 who have been inducted since the annual ceremony began. AAEAHP was founded in 2002 and began the Hall of Fame in 2004. A description on their website captures the organization’s distinction:

African American Educators 1
Inductees on stage after receiving their induction awards / Photo credit: Robert Davis

“No other group has made as significant an impact on the lives of African Americans than African American educators. Help us in our effort to chronicle the contributions of this group of magnificent professionals.”

The organization also acknowledged its 20th anniversary this year and presented scholarships to students Christian Henry, who is attending Northwestern University, and Crystal Henry, who is attending the University of North Texas. The group’s mission is to raise awareness of the experience and value of African America educators in Dallas County, preserve their history, and support students and young educators.

Dr. George Wynn Pryor post-humously received the Trailblazer Award for his tireless service as senior pastor and a founding member of New Birth Baptist Church in Oak Cliff and for his many contributions with Christian organizations including Southern Bible Institute and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

Family members received the award in honor of Dr. Pryor who died in 2018 at age79.

The 2020 Hall of Fame inductees alphabetically are: (1) Carolyn Bailey 2.) Willie Crowder 3.) Shirley Fisher 4.) Lela Herron 5.) Dr. Helen Jones 6.) Dr. Robbie Pipkin 7.) Orethann Price 8.) Dr. Delores Seamster 9.) Carolyn Thompson 10.) Harnell Williams.

A full house of family and friends gathered to help celebrate the 10 inductees and the Trailblazer. Portraits of the 10 new Hall of Fame inductees will join those already displayed at the African American Museum at Fair Park.

To learn more about AAEAHP and make a donation or nomination, visit https://www.aaeahp.org, e-mail info@aaeahp.org, and/or call 972-298-6980 or 214-478-7228.

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