As cle-u as clean-up ittill it still seems unreal.
The ef-3 tornado last week damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses in columbus.
Hunt high school, described by many as the mecca of the community, is a total loss.
The site is also home to the the r.
Hunt museum and cultural center.
The museum's volunteer curator laverne leech.
She joins us this morning.
We had on board as a seminar on the circumstances we hate that brings up to date on the condition of the museum fees know this will portion othat site has been declared i lost museum portion is also a pretty much loss a lot of the artifacts are damaged and some of them we were able to salvage for this type of investments there and got her initial reaction and got there at the hearing, the tomato was was a thought and i listened to a personal investment this sensible was her and i was on my mind right there that's my heart this is america then you have some video of it is there was a post about the museum someone and videotape it i said oh my the two police officers there they told me i couldn't go inside the school ent at that moment i started to cry ... ole miss seats the museum is okay it's gonna be all right i just need toee a said that the back way and find your way rapid things i did when i walked in and i look ... i just didn't have words to say he mentioned that there are some things that could be salvageable safe to do so what are yo plans those items there to be stored in a warehouse of climate control for some of the pictures everything is gonna be okay we will rise again we have heard school district at mentioning ... for a really long time over the legacy done in its increase in the museum i hope that is resurrected i've spoken to the superintendent in the same things i never visited what sort of things were not museum we had to retell the story of african- americans in columbus ... the people who had contributed to the history here describing before the wash pot ... we had that space.pictures hit every class that ever graduated from in some classes from funds in human just telling the story of what it was like is our hope that you won't be able to rebuild ... p,ng o coming up, our "made by history goes to church.
We'll be right back.
Omwelce ba welcome back.
Fifty six years ago, a young black preacher stood in the pulpit and told his congregation, "we are made b history."
It is a history, celebrated throughout the month of february, that is rich and full, tragic and triumphant, filled with heartbreak and healing.
This is the first of our black history month series - with the cornerstone of that history - the chch.
From one generation to the next, the church has remained a source of spiritual renewal as well as praise and worship.
Our quentin smith sat dn with local pastors about the role of the church..
Nat a place to find peace and empowerment.
From small rural bodiesf beevers to mega congregations, for african-americans, church continues to the be rock of the community.
Nat however it's emergence didn't happen overnight... in fact it goes back in time... way back to when black men and women were slaves.
" the slaveowners did allo them to go to church.
We had the kind of songs that the whites didn't understand which delivered us, songs like over my head i hear music in the air there must be a god somewhe.'
Ey didn't know those were songs of delivery."
" we were not allowed i worship spaces by other people of other races, and so look at what god did f u god allowed us to create our own worship spaces, our own style of worship."
Nat reverend tony montgomery is the pastor at missionary union baptist church...which is oldest organized church in columbus.
He says the church house is a place where many people come to strenhen their faith.... and learn about the teachings of the bible.
"people find hope here.
" people go through so muc frustration.
Take for instance the frustration that the shut down cost, people flooded the church to get encouragement.
How my going to makagain, how my going to make it through the struggle.
They can't make it on their own and so the church give them encouragement, it builds their fah and it creates a sense of importance."
Dr. james boy has been pastoring for more than 50 years... and has seen the role the church has played when it comes to uplifting and bringing the aican american community together.
" nobody knows the blac community like the black pastor.
It's a relationship."
" if a movement is going t start it has been in the church the church has been the power based off our community.
If there needs to be something done no matter whether that's educational, because most of our churches were also our schools back in wethe day."
The black church was also instrumental during the civil rights movement.
It w where a number of activists such as dr. martin luther king jr. and jessie jackson would deliver speeches addressing the issues going on throughout the community... andind ys to prevail and overcome those circumstances..
"the church begins for us t gather as a people.
Wounded, enslaved, but becomes the place where we start to organize and work towards our freedom."
Over the years the church has and will continue to evolve.
However.... through it all..
Pastor boyd and montgomery bo believe the church will always remain staple and a safe haven for african- americans.
" i just think that is still th best thing going."
" the church is ilt up on th bible.
Upon this rock i will ild i will be on my church and the gates of hell shall not demolish the church, and that's what we believe in., and that's what we are built on.
I don't think the church will ever go out of existence."
When we come back, we'll highlight the highs and lows of serving as an african american in the military.
K any ask any veteran--and they'll tell you-- there's a sense of pride that comes with putting on their uniform--every time.
But for some who served--there's a source of pain..
In the fabric of every stitch.
This black history month...we spoke to some soldiers of color, who served their country, during a time when it didn't love them back.
Sot: john brown/served in the army--"i'm going to make it...th lord got me...and with the level of hate i just keep pushinon."
Butted sot sot: johnny johnson/command sergeant major--"i decided i a going to go in and make the best at ...that has always been my attitude in life... always."
Track: both attitudes fit for a soldier.... john brown and command sergeant general johnny johnson..carried these mindsets with them...as young men...not realizing their lives would one day depend on it...during a difficult time in our nation's history.... sot: chris taylor/command sergeant major--"i served 3 years, 9 months..12 days..
Sot: john brown/served in vietnam--"i got drafted in 1968 the very day martin luther ng got murdered was my first day in the army" ac trk: bwe track: between 1968 and 1970, both brown and johnson served in the vietnam war.
Sot: johnny johnson/comman d sergeant major-"we ha alt with being shot at daily...riding convoy...if one of your buddies got shot or someone was killed you had inructns to make sure you didn't stop that convoy or stop that convoy from moving" track: for 8 months johnson, the young man in the photo with his fist in the air rode convoys..
Carrying supplies on the ground...never knowing when the enemy would strike.
Sot: johnny johnson--"al along the way we were attacked...so my job when i got there was to man the m-16 machine gun."
Butted so "if they poppe their head up it was my job to make them put it down.
Track: brown also fought on the ground-- in the first calvary.... assigned as a combat enfantryman... sot: john brown--"i walke around in vietnam with an m-16 looking for people to take out...that's what i did...i even walked point...that's the very first man who is out in front of everyone else..."
Track: what happens next--some would consider a miracle...brown was shot august 5th, 1969.
3 times in the chest..
A chopper soon came to his rescue.
As they pulled the injured soldier above ground...vietnam troops fired at the chopper--leaving brown hanging on for dear life.
Sot: john brown: "they got m about halfway up and then the enemy started shooting at the chopper and me...and the chopper took all of us...with me dangling under the chopper for a good little while and then they pulled me on in."
Track: while the battle was raging in vietnam--another battle was being fought... sot: johnny johnson--"i philadelphia ms you have to realize that was a terrible time in the united states.
3 boys were killed in philadelphia ms because of the fact that people were trying to register down there" track: both soldiers---fightin g for america's freedom while freedom fighters where on the frontlines at home.
Sot:john brown "it' shameful...here we are fighting a war for this country and we're being called the "nigger" wo the whole 9 yards...spit on..it was a double standard for us particularly being that we were americans too" track: a realization...and pain...that pierced many... vo over sot: chris taylor/command sergeant major--"at night would hear "d hear " are going to get you n-word..."
Track: this is a photo of retired command sergeant major, chris taylor--an m-1 tank driver--in 1970.
Sot: chris taylor--"i was th only black kid in the headquarters tank section.
And i would say well come on... butted sot and i would say i guarantee you someone ain't gonna make it" track: for taylor, brown and johnson, and so many countless others-- determination is something that's skin deep.
Y chris taylor--"in m mind nothing was going to stop me."
Track: no matter the shade.
Sot: johnny johnson--"if yo work hard at any job you work in i am confident that you will overcome all the racism and anything you are dealing with.
Track: or color.... sot: john brown--"i am person who loves and you can't beat love..no matter what you do"butted so "we are resilient while african americans made alumni say it's a different world.
The black college experience whe midmorning comes right back.
Nuonre we continue our black history month series, "made by history with a look at the role of historically black colleges and universities.
Created after the civil war, hbcu's were established all across the south to educate freed slaves.
Today hbcu's continue to be a nurturing environment for higher education for many african-american students.
I sat down with two local hbcu grads to talk about their experience.
During the late 80's and early 90's, the hit nbc show " different world" gave th world an upclose look at historically black colleges and universities through its depiction of life on the campus of the fictional hillman college.
And for graduates of hbcu's the sitcom title rings true.
The first thing when i arrived at tougaloo...it seemed like a totally different world from which i had come.
The faculty was very diverse.
You had white faculty members, black faculty members.
You had faculty members from india, from germany, so that was something that was totally foreign to me.
Dr. walter conley, a retired school superintendent, attended tougaloo college, a small private institution in jackson.
My aunt was a tougaloo grad and my principal, mr. ezell wicks, was a tougaloo grad.
And they got together and decided i was gonna go to tougaloo.
I had the fortunate influence of a stepdad who went to jackson state and he took me to all the games early on.
So, i knew basically by 8th grade i wanted to go to jackson state.
Nadia colom is the chief operating officer golden triangle boys and girls club and a proud jsu grad.
"thee jackson state university because thee i love, my dear ole college home!"
Colom says when she arrived on campus as a freshman, she immediately knew it was her home away from home.
"it felt like family.
That wa the main thing.
Everybody seemed just so familiar with each other.
People say it all the time, but it was really true.
You're not just one of the numbers."
The same was true for conley.
Teachers were very caring.
They knew your name in a lot of cases and they were really concerned.
It was quite nurturing."
But he also recalls some turbulent times.
His tougaloo years were during the civil rights movement.
And leaders in the movement found a safe place to share their message on that campus.
We had dr. martin luther king, stokley carmichael, robert kennedy and all of those people.
They could not visit the state supported institutions.
I too chose an hbcu to continue my education - stillman college in tuscaloosa, al.
On this campus, i learned, i grew, and i embraced the importance of community service.
Getting involved in student government and service organizations like my sorority was encouraged by leaders on campus.
Conley says service was instilled in students at tougaloo as well and points to a well-known alumnus.
Bennie thompson who's chairman of homeland security is a tougaloo grad.
As a matter of fact, he is my classmate.
And then there are the cultural experiences unique to hbcu's.
At jsu, the band, known as the famous sonic boom of the south is a phenomenon.
Colom was a prancing j-sette in the famous band.
Those were the best four years i could have spent in my life.
We got to perform at the naacp image awards in l.a.
Which was huge.
Both conley and colom say their hbcu experience gave them a firm foundation that they continue to build on today.
"i really didnt' feel like missed something going to jackson state.
If anything, i felt that i was gaing a new perspective i would not trade my tougaloo experience for anything.
There are currently 101 hbcu's in the united states, five in the state of mississippi.
In addition to jackson state and tougaloo college, there's alcorn state, mississippi valley state, and rust college.
Back to the beginning wrap up cl couud we conclude our made by history series where we started -- the church.
After saturday's destructive tornado in columbus, there were church groups on the ground within hours to help those affected.
When we talked to pastor tony montgomery earlier this month about the role the church plays in the african-american community, he the church has been the power based off our community."
It was just a few weeks ago when pastor tony montgomery explained how people find hope in the church...not knowing that hope would now be relied upon after an ef-3 tornado struck the columbus this past weekend.
" the church is a place o resource.
Yes we can pray for people, but when you talk about meeting needs, it should be meeting the spiritual and the physical needs for people.
It's not just about give them some scripture.
It's about give them some food, provide shelter."
Nat instead of serving people from the pulpit on sunday.... nat montgomery and his church were out in the community to serving those who were effected by the tornado... " we did have a brief worshi service on sunday morning, but my cook was cooking the whole time and servers were getting things ready, so at 12 o'clock noon we were ready to feed."
Nat montgomery says his congregation has fed close to a thousand people this week alone.
He says in dark and trying times, the church is a place many people seek first for relief.
"for us it's to make sure tha this community is made whole again.
Yes this community may not have the resources of some other communities, but they are people, they are gods people.
We want to make sure that the city, fema, mima, and the governor they do with they are suppose to do."
All week long, other churches and pastors have also answered the call to service by giving back to a community that's lost so much.
Showing that not even a destructive tornado, or demolished homes, or a damaged community can stop them from continuing to do the lord's work.
"this is our community.
W serve here.
We work here.
We worship here.
We wanted to do it for this community to let them know we're not just here to invite them to church, but somebody who serves them when they have needs."
" they are not victims, they ar survivors, but if we don't do what we're supposed to do, we will make them victims, and that's the problem.
The churches position in this is to do the work of god but to be the voice if we have to of people who are hurting."
Pastor montgomery says he and his church will continue to serve meals assist people impacted by the storm.