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thank you for being here like to.recognize.today members of our legislative.led by our chair mr. William clay.legislators Norman Chapman and Samuel.fine.and also members of the Albany County.Legislature Joanne Cunningham from.Bethlehem and ray Joyce representing the.city of Albany also representing the.Albany County Executive Bakri gianna.also joining us today if through our.program we have pastor McKinley B.Johnson from the Albany african-american.clergy for United for empowerment we.also have traevon Jackson from the.african-american cultural center here in.Albany a great partner the legislature.they have amazing programs they have.artwork on display here the artwork is.on display year-round so enjoy it today.and if you have a chance there on Pearl.Street here in Albany stop in and and.see all the great things they're doing.there and on February 11th the Albany.County Legislature passed a resolution.declaring February is African American.History Month this year the National.theme focuses on black migrations and.our speakers today will be sharing.family stories of migration including.their journey right here to Albany.County I'd like to introduce district.six legislator Sam fine who will kick.things off with a little history about.black migrations Sam thank you Andrew.black migrations follows the continuous.movement in the 20th century of African.Americans relocating from farms to.cities and from the south to the.Northeast and Midwest such migrations.resulted in a more diverse and.stratified interracial and intra-racial.urban population amid a changing social.setting such as the rise of the Garvey.movement in New York Detroit and New.Orleans the emergence of both black.industrial workers and black.entrepreneurs the growing number and.variety of urban churches and new.religions new music forms like ragtime.blues and jazz white backlash as in the.red summer of 1919 and the blossoming of.visual and literary arts as in New York.Washington DC Chicago in Paris in the.1910s and 1920s.our speakers today will share us some of.their personal history about family.migrations during this time but first.please stand as we play the Negro.national anthem.[Music].today God is good all the time he is.good and I know we're not in church but.I always like to say that because it's.true.all right so I'm going to start in I'm.gonna start reading just a little.something and I promise you it won't be.long I wrote a little something last.night I was just thinking I said now.what can I say about myself because um I.actually didn't migrate here I was born.and raised here in the city of Albany.which I'm very proud to be to be here.and I'm proud of this county and and.what I wanted to just say some words.about my mother and my father because.they were not born here in this county.let me just take you on a little small.journey of my life my mother was born in.1921 to a dressmaker well she called her.dressmaker because she was more like a.seamstress in pitts Georgia and Georgia.fits Georgia was like about 150 miles.south of Atlanta so and back then 1921.you know there was probably no roads and.all that and you know when you had to.use your horse and buggy and she was.born and my grandfather he was a.sharecropper and he was also a deacon of.Southern Baptist Church and you know.back then if you were a deacon you were.just like a pastor you ran the church so.uh so Deacon John coal in idle coal.which was his wife Deacon John when.someone would come to the church and.they weren't right he would check he.would make sure he say my mother said.okay we will have call a meeting and.he's gonna have to go because he just.ain't doing right so those are words.that I'm using as my mother would tell.me she always would sit us down and just.talked to us about old stories that.happened down in the south now she had.it was eight girls and two boys and.there.Kove co le not co l e s so these were.two chrome girls in the coal family and.my grandfather owned he had it was a.slaughterhouse they called it where he.had the cattle pigs and chickens and um.and what he would do is they would take.the meat and use probably know something.some people might know a little bit.about it but I guess they were cured.take the pigs and hang them up and then.they will cure them and put all this.stuff with him in anyway but he was.Selda this is how they made their living.and as she was doing as the grandmother.was making the clothing she sold for all.of it was most of the I'll say white.people I'm sorry because they the ones.that had the money I'm just going to.keep it real they had the money and so.they would come to Miss Ida and Miss Ida.WA had that old sewing iron of you know.and she would just be making these.clothes and they would bring their books.from Sears robots I'll never forget that.Sears Roebuck and they were bringing the.book and they were Miss Ida I want to.look like this I want to dress like this.but you know for some reason I guess.that was her gift because she would.actually make them come out and they.really thought they will they look good.those clothes actually was fit and.looked just like the ones in the book so.those are some of things like in the in.there was segregation but if you were.respected if you had a family and you.were respected back then everybody.respected each other.it wasn't um you know name-calling and.all this fighting and carrying on.because everyone was called mr. and miss.mr. amiss so mr. Johnny and mr. idak.Miss Ida and mr. John and mr. Sam and.miss Suzie think everybody had a name.and this is what they were called and.they were all respected so I remember.one time one of the stories was that.they had went to and I'm not even.reading this now.I know by heart I've heard it so much.they went to town they went to town so I.guess going to town was going to the big.city somewhere excuse me.and it was the either the cold girls was.inside of the car and they went to town.to go shopping or something and they.were surrounded around a whole lot of it.was some white boys that surrounded them.because now remember most people had.horse and buggies and wagons and so.forth but they were in a car so they.went to town and they were surrounded.and when they were surrounded I guess it.was like making fun of them or whatever.and next thing you know it was the.person that came out he says wait a.minute that's the cold girls.that's mr. jeong's girls and they said.oh they all backed away and everything.was just all good because that's what.happened when you were in a town where.everything was segregated but if you.were respected you got that respect and.that was one of the things that really.stuck with me is because of having.respect for people for one another so as.they migrated my mother went to the.levant grave and if you were in 11th.grade you can teach others they you went.to your school you went to cordial.Georgia and she was teaching the.children that were in K through the.second grade it wasn't like the.kindergarten first grade second year you.had to have several grades but you were.teaching those kids and when she did.that that was something that was very.very she loved that everybody would call.her miss Lois miss Maggie and miss Cole.and they really thought that you know.she was really she was very very proud.of that she tells that story several.times so then she moved to Albany New.York when she came to Albany she lived.with my uncle which was Mary and he had.his family but people were trying to.migrate from the south to come up north.which you're gonna hear on elder.McKinley's tell some of that no but when.she came up north she stayed with my my.aunt my uncle and that didn't last that.because you know if you're staying with.your relatives and you're staying with a.sister-in-law sometimes things like that.don't work so high you know because she.was very very close to her brother he.was seven years older and she just.adored her brother so anytime they were.getting to an argument she would have to.go inside the room and close the door.because she didn't want to be involved.into that that that family fused so she.finally moved out on her own and I thank.God for that because when she moved out.on her own she became working at.Williams press which is located.it used to be locating some they made.books and on Broadway here in Albany and.then it was a ball factory here in.Albany I think it was on Orange Street.and they made the gloves and they made.the balls all the leather on these.machines and it was all peace you did it.by piecemeal I'm you'd have to find out.I guess they would like add up how many.you made how many gloves you mean that's.how they were paid so she came from a.hard-working and she came to Albany and.she worked very hard when she met my dad.my dad was one of these people that he.was a gentleman that came from South.Carolina but he moved to South from.South Carolina at a very young age of 12.his mom had passed he moved with his.older brother and they moved to.Schenectady and when he moved to.Schenectady they became they were like.doing sales people there were sales men.they came to Albany and were doing.selling Fuller Brush I don't know some.people might heard that name Fuller.Brush they were doing full of Russian.they came along and he met my mom going.through the door and they I guess it.took a liking to each other but not.right away because she was very very I'm.afraid of people here in in this big.city you know and she couldn't.understand why people live in the.basements because basements was like you.were being thrown away or like you're in.a dungeon or something so she just.couldn't understand under that stuff but.um when they met they got together and.I'm trying to hurry up now because I got.a lot here written but I'm.go on and when they got together and.they had my sister it's just two of us.me and my sister and she's much older.than I am she's not usually much older.than I am so when so when they got and.then they did not want to have another.child but then I came along she told me.she said well Barbara was so quiet and.she was so old you just always just.wanted to have a child like her she was.so sweet but then I came along and I.made up for Barbara myself and probably.ten other kids in the other net in the.neighborhood but uh but here I am and I.am just so proud of being here but let.me just go on because um I work for I'm.skipping along I see Angela's probably.giving me the eye but um I work for New.York State right Nick oh well it was at.the building and now we're at 110 ills.for the comptroller's office for over 37.years it was a very job he paid bills.I had my six children thank God for.maternity leave and I had six children.and six beautiful children three of them.are here today but I we worked with.reporting control make sure that your.retirement monies were all registered to.the went to the right fund.so you weren't cheap out of gypped out.of your monies as you get ready to.retire so it was a lot of things like.that that happened where people did not.have their retirement monies the 3% or.whatever tier that you were in being.equaled and I just you know I think I.for that and then I was as I was there.were someone just kept talking to me and.I was always doing some other things.other than my job I could say that now.cos I'm retired so um when I was doing.some other things there's always things.for the community and just working with.people because I love people I talk a.lot I love to help people and this.person said to me.you know you really need to get into.politics on politics for what and uh.she kept on every day she was always in.my.here and she in my ear and I thank God.for her because she did she was the.person that made me realize that things.that I need to say I can try to help.someone and in and in with the old song.of Mahalia Jackson if I can help.somebody along the way my living will.not be in vain I could sing that because.I go sweet fooling Church I'm a with the.praise team and this person started a.nice choir at the OSC OSC in Samba we.were going along really hard really good.and we had a nice quiet going on and so.forth and I just think her because she.did give me that she instilled that into.me to say when Norma you really need to.do and take it further so when I became.when I ran in Oh seven I was really.quite nervous but I didn't and I thank.God because I was able to work on a.Social Services Committee and the mass.transit committee but was the social.service committee was working with.people that always had questions and.things that they wanted to know more.about and they could not go and just go.to your caseworker because the.caseworker is there just to work on your.case but not to give you some.information what you should do this or.what you should do that so I was able to.be that liaison to be able to.communicate to the commissioners about.what was going on in certain cases and I.was glad to do things like that the mass.transit program with CDT eggs varied is.another program that was very good.because you can also work with people.that we need more transportation and.meaning more equal transportation to be.able to provide for our constituents and.for the communities I worked with the.audit and Finance Committee I worked.with them how many more committees I.worked with I worked with so many Andrew.you probably helped me with that but.anyway um oh yeah oh yes.yes yes and I was the Civic Center chair.for over how much it's a twenty million.dollars that program I was the chair of.that and it was very very important that.that Civic Center and you know you can.see how the new phase has come over with.the times-union and we're really proud.of that let's get that that's good yeah.a lot of things a lot of people are.always complaining about they said well.oh you can hear the noise it's just so.loud on the streets and but it's.advertisement and it's also to let.people know what's going on and and I.really appreciate that very much chair I.really appreciate that because people.that are coming into our neighborhoods.they're always wondering well where is.this time Union place where is this at.and what's going on there so they don't.even have to look at the internet.wherever because it's there and it's.visible and they see what's going on so.I you know we want to thank for that and.public works for a better highways rolls.and some of the other chick other.programs that was I was working on and.I'm just trying to speed on here because.I know my time is about up and I see.somebody walking out of the room now.because she's probably getting bored but.so just to say that this is just some of.the stories that I have and I just.wanted to let people know and I'm in and.I just love the fact that Wanda and mr..clay have started with us with the black.that the caucus the minority caucus.because this is one thing that's very.good and it's something that we all need.here for the county of Albany and that.person that I was speaking about that.just really kept getting into my ear is.Wanda Willingham oh free he don't.Oh freedom Oh freedom over me and before.I'd be your slave I'll be buried in my.grave and go home to my Lord and be free.I I started with that song because it's.something that really signifies the.reason why we're here today I'm just.going to give a very brief history of my.family I my my great-grandfather's name.was King McLaughlin my great-great.grandfather's name was razz McLaughlin.and these were two white men blue-eyed.one of them fought in the Civil War.and the other one died in my aunt's arms.and in those days people took the names.from the families that they had been.given down to my grandmother was a.mccann there are some people in the.audience who can relate to that and.migrant my father and my grandfather.they were my block ones one of the.things that I can remember about actual.migration I was born in the South in a.house my brother my oldest brother was.also born in the South but my father had.decided that he was going to leave.Mississippi and move to New York in.between his travels one of my sister's.was born in Albany New York my older.sister as a matter of fact my father's.trip back south that's how I was born in.Waynesboro Mississippi.my grandfather was.fortunate to have bought our land and.you could say he had he had over 300.acres at one point which was a lot in.those days at any rate when my father.decided to leave and move north he felt.he could make a better way for his.family and the story is that he told my.grandfather he bought him a tractor and.he said I'm not coming back I'm going to.make my way in New York so one of the.things that we would do every year was.go back and forth I'm just going to tell.this one story we would go back and.forth every Christmas every summer we.would travel south and I can remember as.a little girl going into a store I had.gotten away from my father and I went in.this store and I was waiting for them I.had decided what the candy that I wanted.to buy and the shopkeeper would not wait.on me I couldn't figure out why she.wouldn't wait on me I picked out my.candy and the other thing that bothered.me was she was informing me excuse me.and then she moved down but I was only a.little girl I don't think I probably was.any more than five years old when I said.it had really gotten away from my father.I didn't really realize how devastating.that could have been at that time as a.kid you know how we wander off my father.came running into the store and he.apologized to the woman and what had.happened I was standing under the white.sign I didn't know it and the reason why.the woman had moved she wanted me to.move down to the colored sign but I.didn't know that and as my father.apologized to these people for me being.under the wrong sign I still didn't know.what to make of it.I didn't realize and/or understand why.my father was so nervous because I had.never seen my father shook and I.remember him telling her she doesn't.know and she doesn't understand and that.was something that stuck with me and it.was because of the look on my father's.face and the people who had begun to.look at me I tell this story and I guess.right now so I understand why my father.wanted us out of the south so that's.what I'm going to share as far as my.migration and a reason why people left.the south there'll be others that will.come behind me that can really give a a.real story of what we would call the.black Moses for Albany New York and.he'll tell that to Pastor McKellen go.tell that story later but as you look at.us all of us have reasons on why we are.here today I know why I am here today I.know how I got here today and I just.thank God that my mother and father were.raised by people who taught them that.there was something better and that they.could be more and even though they only.had eighth-grade education they went on.to own their own businesses because.that's what people had to do even though.we were up north or as we call it up.South Orman he was still very much.segregated even right here in the city.of Albany and so people did have to.start their own businesses they started.their own churches as blacks moved in.White's moved out but to tell you the.truth I grew up in a neighborhood that.was Italian.Jewish and black and it's right here.within two blocks of this whole area.here South Pearl Street Grand Street L M.Street Eagle Street.and Bassett Street Franklin Street come.on help me out.a scroll place but turn it.that's right Trinity place everything.that you see down here was at one point.a very mixed neighborhood and so I'm.going to take my leave here and let.pastor McKinley and also the chairman of.our legislature talk about their.experiences and I'll come back up to you.later thank you well they used all the.time so I don't have any time left but.but particularly my legislature normal.admin I mean she saw it walked us back.through history to and present and but I.think both of them both Wanda our deputy.vice or vice know our deputy chairperson.of our legislature and also what the.members that are present I I'm I'm sorta.I have mixed emotions where the rest of.my group is but those that are present.would you stand the legislative black.caucus.there's only and that there's what three.missing and I don't know where they are.but certainly I'm not going to apologize.well then they should be here so I'm not.I I don't have stories of migration you.know but what comes to mind when I.listen to Towanda is one story I I've.been here I've been in Albanian since I.was about five years old but very vivid.in my imagination or in my.and my mind is one story that always is.always present with me when one and one.disorder reminded me of that and and her.stories and that was when I was six.years old I went to visit my.grandparents and who all came from.Arkansas Little Rock Arkansas and I went.to I went to visit my grandmother and.she took me shopping over and and in the.city in Little Rock we lived right in.Little Rock and I got sick I had four.turn out to be walking pneumonia and my.my grandmother said well son we have to.go home I have to get you to the doctor.you know you have a lot of fever you.have high fever so and parent of mine.you know I was just I think five five or.six we got on the bus and one of the.things one that said reminded me this we.got on the bus and the bus was full all.the way up to any of you have been in.the South years ago you know what the.bus looked like there was a big white.line in them and they wherever they drew.the line on the bus which meant that.blacks were to stand back beyond that.line you couldn't cross that line and up.front so the back of the bus was full.and up front was completely empty and so.my grandmother said well sons.there's no seats back here so set here.it was the first seat on the white side.of the line and so she set me down and I.was really really sick and the bus.driver refused to move the bus and he.came back and he said you got to move.from where you are and my grandmother.said well there's no seats and mice.might my grandson is sick he said I.don't care you got to get.other side of that white line on the.floor and so you know there's a little.bit of a summit of like people on the.bus started to protest and a Jenna black.gentleman got up and said to my.grandmother I miss set him in my seat.and I will stand up and that's how we.went to where we had to get off the bus.in Little Rock Arkansas.and I'll tell you that things like that.always remain with you and remained with.the the and one of the things one said.is one of the reason people migrated to.the to the north from the saw was.because of those kinds of issues.you know black only I mean white only.signs going to the back of you couldn't.go into a restaurant you had to go to.the back in order to get your food and.and you know after go on and on about.those kinds of issues but but thank God.where the country have came from that.now that's not to say that we don't.still have racism that's not to say that.that we have a perfect society at this.point but it is to say that we have.moved a long ways a long ways and you.know I could give you my history in.Albany as I grew up which is a very.positive one and here I stand today a.legislator from the 12th district.represent a majority minority district.what does that mean that means that that.the the district that I represent is.predominantly white but they put they.put me in office for 16 years and the.the someone from the time Union a few.years ago said to me well mr. clay what.do you attribute your success to a black.man being elected and I essentially a.white.district what do you attribute that to.and you know the only you have to think.of was dr. King and what I thought I was.that well III I think God that I believe.that people elected me on the basis of.my character not my color and that's.been the case again for some 16 years so.I'm very thankful and I am not about to.say and I'm not gonna get any place and.say that we have a a color free society.today because we don't ah but I just.again I am very thankful for God I don't.want to get back into or normal and.start preaching you know I thought she.was going to preach that when she got up.but as you have as Wonder Willingham who.also sung a very gospel a very religious.song you can see that we're all steeped.and essentially black people history.steeped in religion that that's where we.get our belief and that's what has.brought us so far God's been good to us.and I'm very thankful of that now I'm.not gonna take any more of your time I.guess I'm scheduled to talk about some.of the accomplishments of the.legislative Black Caucus so I'm going to.close with this and turn it over to the.real speaker at the hour and but let me.just close by saying one I think you.think you those of you who came out here.we made a terrible mistake the mistake.was that we fathered by having our.program at the end of the month we sort.of followed other programs that was here.and so those people and it was about.migration so those people are not here.today so consequently we just don't have.the kind of audience that I would love.to have seen but I think all of you for.being here those of you that are here I.think.you now there are a couple of.legislators Gilly Thea did you leave is.he is he gone but but Paul is here.Palmilla possibly snap Joe is Joe please.get me somebody all right ray and Joann.yes and these are police sent up let.people see who you are these are these.are fellow legislators thank you for.coming out and supporting us we.appreciate it.now I'm going to close by saying the.chairman Joyce was gracious enough to.support us this past year in there's.never been a legislative black caucus in.the Albany County and what we have today.is the first the first of its kind in.Albany County and it can be a tribute to.those that chairman Joyce - Wonder.Willingham and two others - to two other.legislators Joe and Paul all of those.ray all of those supported us and when.we put together the legislative Black.Caucus in the form of a resolution.it was unanimously passed by the.legislature unanimously and we have.enjoyed the the support of the.legislature and again I don't want to.overemphasize but we chairman Joyce he's.been right there with us behind us he's.given us the resources he's been behind.me and whatever I've tried to do and I.thank you chairman with that Elda the.man of the hour.Alba McKinley Johnson.[Applause].well we can say Amen will you even step.on that is the culture of many of the.background of many of us black is church.life for God has brought us from a long.ways not on us but everybody anyway that.would turn to him and ask him for help.he is there to help them it's just a joy.to be asked to come to this session.today sister Wanda for calling me up.appreciate it and we thank God for.chairman Joyce and all the black.legislators caucus nothing wrong with.that because we trying to unify to help.do the things that were blessed not just.one set of people but everybody that can.I get a Amen all right I don't know why.they put me on the spot like this but.they want me to share and talk about the.great migration and how my father who.was in that great migration came to come.to Albany in many cases they called him.the Martin de Harriet Tubman and the.black Moses because of him he brought so.many people out of a sharecropper.experience that was as slavery or right.next to it for they had the after.working all year long and slaving in the.fields and pulling up the cotton or.whatever is that they came out with a.great big thank you but no money they.always hit it up empty-handed somehow.another because when they went to the.store to buy products and leads for.their family.it was at the end of the year they had.to come back and find out what did they.owe and they always owed more that's a.terrible experience that many of the.blacks had in the south.my father was a unique unusual man that.lived in the south he was born in 1909.he was born to mother and father that.was unusual and different instead of.being in the sharecropper experience.they had a hundred and fifty acre farm.that they used to make their existence.and they're living in my father he came.up he's very industrious and very moral.and very straight and very honest even.as a teenager he was listed in the.community of Shibata Mississippi.Bhutanese if I have to ask people where.I go sometimes.anybody got any relatives from Djibouti.and but it was where he came up were was.raised up by one of sixteen children you.know in EM days they needed children.guess what for to work that phone to.make sure that the they get what their.products they were good now he not only.was that at one time he became the.manager of the farm because his dad was.incapacitated for about nine months and.my father at 16 years old took over the.farm managed it with all his brothers.and sisters two older boys cut them they.have already left and left home but he.learned to manage his mom his sisters.and his siblings and I suspect that.God's Way of helping him get some.development get some growth in the area.that he was going to pursue when life.a little better by the grace of God at.around the age of 21 he came to the city.of Albany he came up South that's right.that's what we called it up south.because in the in the South there was.rigidness and experiences of segregation.experiences of racism was that really.was cruel it was kind of mean in the.center he told me he said I would never.marry anybody in the south and raise my.children in the south or in a have a.wife that might be abused challenged the.thought of as less than a normal human.being he said would never do that so he.never was married in the south but he.did a lot of good in the south and his.community he would go around in a bucket.but buggy and get clothes and furniture.from the wealthy people or whoever's.better off and he would take it into the.community that he lived and distributed.to those that didn't have as much than.half as much than have what they needed.so to speak he was always helping his.community he was known as a young man.that could be trusted with the girls in.his community if that Mama's with him.let him go nowhere unless Jack was with.him because of his standard because of.his sister because of his honesty.because of who he was and when he came.to Albany around 20 we use 21 at 90 31.he only had a couple of shirts a couple.of pants and nice jacket and pair shoes.but he arrived here in a car with he was.one of 16 people in that car with the.pastor that had come down to start.migrating people up to the north from.the south you say how did they give 16.in there well he this pastor had a three.row.Oh God and you know we now have two rows.but not he had three roles dr. super.rules and he put him stacked them wear.heels and everybody had somebody in the.seat and it was only thirteen hundred.miles from Shibuya my father was one of.those sixteen but he was in genetic and.industrious and he learned how to get.out and find work where we could he.worked by watching walls and washing.ceilings and washing.insides and out anything you find to.make some money to do what he had to do.well after a while he got married and.married my mother and there were seven.children I'm the oldest of the last six.living and he has shown us a lot to look.forward to and to serve the people in.Albany he began to go back down to.Mississippi in other places and bring.others up from during the migration.period from the south to the north and.the way he did it he had to do it in a.way because there was a sharecropper.employers that wouldn't didn't like.brother Jack because he was taken there.at sharecropper employees out of the.south back to the up to the north how he.would do it he leave Albany about late.Thursday night and it's 1,300 miles to.get down to where he had to go he leave.at third Thursday because he works all.week and he works on two jobs and then.he development of industry of his own.repairing houses and doing all that.carpentry worked in the sector but he.would leave Thursday and go down to.Mississippi and when we get there the.word got around Jackson town and they.knew what that meant he was going to.leave town and if you wanted to go to.Albany you got to be ready when he.called you asked the question when will.I should I be ready when you hear the.horn when I two-two.- you better come a-runnin cuz I'm on.show be flying and about 1 o'clock in.the morning - 2 o'clock in the morning.he was stopped by some of the houses.that I said I want to go to Albany he.would say get your rags together and.meet me at that time and they would come.out jump in the car he'd scoot out the.reason why I was that late at night.because those folks that they were.working for and all they get in the end.was somewhere to live they we didn't.want to lose their cheap labor hello.somebody that's the reason was slavery.anyhow just want a cheap labor so I.could make a million dollars all right I.don't want to get into that brother Jack.is what they call him sometimes I hear.people say bro Jack we call him brother.because he loved the community work for.the community to help out in every.incident that he could when he got here.you start to establish what this is.called a good Samaritan a group of that.was for an Albany County let me tell you.stay down in the south ends more than.that's what we came in well that's no.more than anybody else when the Jewish.people came they stayed in the south.Italians came stayed in the South in.every everybody stayed around the river.didn't they scooted up the hill so to.speak and certainly the blacks landed.and they stayed around the rim up which.was down here on Green Street rented a.street and all the streets they were.talking about listen honestly God has.blessed in a mighty way and he was very.helpful he would bring down we bring.people up but brah Jack would go to his.friend Albert and curse millionaire.realtor's that will have what you call.no down payment houses the houses were.dilapidated throw Jack would work for.him a few years instead instead of.starting to buying houses because he's.bringing people up they had to go.somewhere to live and then he met up.with farmer Peter.and they hooked up together and they.were provide clothes and the necessities.of all the people coming up I guess they.went to some of the officials in Albany.told him it's time jack to stop doing.our gonna keep bringing these people up.but he was a migrator and he brought.people up don't want to last long.because I beings just a Chapman rang the.bell on that one but uh in the great.migration that Reverend Lewis parson did.it started way back in the late 20s.right on up till he died in 1940 my.father took up the Lord going back and.forth and back and forth until about.this 70s to bring up over a hundred.families not only did he bring them up.and gave them a job of help him find a.job set him he made some of us get out.of our bed and let them sleep in his our.beds we slept on the floor so that.somebody that was coming from somewheres.you can see that all that kind of.experience unless you got no feet at all.is gonna rub off on you so that our.thoughts in life was not only to live.right but to serve God's people in the.community that's all I know all of my.life that's all I wanted to know that's.all I'm trying to know and I'm sure that.comes from being brought up by a man.that not only loved God but love the.people and I want to say to all of us.that are here we had had an opportunity.to experience him or either you heard.about him and he didn't do it for.himself he did it so that men and women.boys and girls would get a sense that.they have a responsibility that we have.to way of doing that God has set out for.them to do and that is to honor him God.and help people it pays off is suffering.some time it hurts some time but we have.to help one another.and Reverend Johnson bridge act they.called him done that with all his heart.and all his mind and result is so and.I'm encouraging all of you no matter.what you are or what where you live or.word your experience or it is the.migration because there was a lot of.people that come from down south.it was a lot of and I think there was 92.percent up of the south back in 1900 one.or so was not a blacks it was it was.about 92 percent of the blacks was there.but by I think was what is about to 1920.they were down to only 53 percent of the.black Jews in the South they had moved.to Chicago moved to New York moved to.Albany move to the the urban centers in.the United States and we have a.responsibility to keep home doing all.the good that we can while we can he.partied until I call you.this has really been an incredible.experience on today but we have one last.speaker for you as I look around the.room I know you see a lot of us we're.older and we can speak to different.experiences but we're also experiencing.something new today we talked about just.briefly the legislative black caucus but.there's something that I do want to say.and do I really have to give you credit.for having a vision that a lot of people.did not share the legislative black.caucus I had ax member after after.member to allow us to have staff that.would see to the needs of minority wards.not only the wards but legislative.districts and I was ignored.you listened and you did something about.it I look like I see Johnny Bakri back.here.and it just does something to me to see.our younger people coming along taking.the mantle and actually doing something.with it and for that I applaud you but.now I have a young man and his name is.traevon Jackson last year the.legislature gave a few dollars to the.African American Cultural Arts Center.and it was something that was very.worthwhile it's something that is new.and exciting in the city of Albany and.in Albany County I'm going to let him.tell you about it but this is another.young person that we are bringing along.to continue this journey of migration.but also the experience of what being an.african-american is all about anomaly.so want to thank everyone who could be.here and again thank all the legislators.chair for having us here to speak on.behalf of the center but also to bring.some of this art down and get exposure.to some local artists so please if you.haven't had the time already please.check out these works appreciate the.artists look at the names they're on.display regularly down at the center I.also want to take a moment to.acknowledge my vice-president definitely.on stage with me this is the gentleman.that makes all the art run corresponds.with the artists and anyone who's dealt.with artists before knows how hard of a.job that can be so I personally want to.give you an applause so to speak a.little briefly about myself my name is.traevon Jackson I'm actually a native of.Troy any other Trojans here besides Jeff.okay no hard crowd so I actually was.born and raised in Troy and went down to.Atlanta for college at Morehouse College.and I guess you could say my migration.went in Reverse I went down south and.saw a totally different world where a.marching band is a marching band where a.promenade is a promenade where a.plantation is a plantation all right can.you see those lessons and for me the.easiest thing to do was to find a job.find some income get out that's how I.would kick over all the new things I was.seeing how I would deal with the old.feelings that I had that's how I would.make it so I went out to Chicago.migrated again went a little further.west and I worked in investment banking.for a little while and the money felt.great but my heart didn't my heart.didn't and that lasted for under a year.before I quit without a job in hand but.with my faith in the other and I was.able to get a job and I came back and I.was working in local development and the.piece that bothered me about local.development was the mission and the.impetus for supporting minorities and.women and other own ventures was there.on paper and at the forefront and on the.marquees but then when I would look at.the financials when I would look at the.money that was being given it given out.it wasn't there the entire time I was.working not a single woman or minority.owned business came across my desk.locally.I said that bothers me that bothers me.so I formed my own firm development.property development advising and I.figured if there's a way we can make it.work we can do it on our own so we start.a bluelight development group and Jeff.was gracious enough to serve as vice.president and in that time I was serving.on the board at the african-american.cultural center and before I left for.college I remember the initial interest.meetings they used to have down to.Trinity when it was still an idea when.it was still a concept and I came back.from college and it was done there was a.building there was a space I said this.is amazing I'd love to get involved I'd.love to help and as I volunteered for a.couple years we ran up against some hard.problems it was great that we had a.space it was great that I felt better.about what I was doing and it was great.that I found an outlet but bills still.have to be paid right those day-to-day.operations coordinating with those.artists making sure the floors are.mopped and clean all right my Grandmamma.telling me that so you begin to say how.do we do these things and as we're.figuring that out and getting traction.and doing more art exhibits our boiler.breaks right and anybody who's been in.the New York winter or any winter north.of some of the places were talking about.migrating from it gets cold real fast.all right especially when you're lucky.slash cursed enough to have really tall.ceilings all right in a historic.building right in downtown so the county.was gracious enough to meet us where we.were and say how can we help.right and helped with a very pretty.penny to make sure that we could get a.new boiler system installed and I'm.happy to say if that system is installed.keeping us very warm this winter.yes and now with that heat and that.warmth on top of all the other.initiatives there's another kind of.migration going on and that's people.coming to our space right that's people.realizing that these resources are here.and with a little bit of stability with.a little bit of buy-in either from the.county or other individuals this.resource can be here every day and all.we have to do is pour into it a little.bit more a little bit more a little bit.more a little bit more but if.everybody's pouring in a little bit.sooner or later our cups gonna overflow.right sooner or later our cup is gonna.overflow so I think everyone who's been.patient enough to stick with their.migration personal or otherwise to still.be here because just because you've been.here a long time doesn't mean you have.to continue to be here a long time I.think everyone who chose to come back.and stay and help and I'm waiting and.excited for the day when our cup.overflows thank you all that was great.we got we get to hear I guess I would.say part of the end of the story and so.we went all the way back up to the.present and we're still on the journey.so I just want you all know I'm truly.humbled to be among all of you today and.we do have some minority-owned.minority-owned businesses here I want to.thank Ally beasts for this amazing lunch.that they gave and the both of you guys.have not partake and I do believe that.there is some left but I'm so glad that.we were able to host us an event where.we could learn more about the impact of.the histories that people have who live.here right now and what an important.role our plant parents and grandparents.had on us and our communities and the.state you know and our nation thank you.pastor McKinley for coming out and.sharing the experience of black Moses I.know black Moses and I know that station.wagon that he's talking about because he.used it to open up the daycare center.and they would go around and they would.pick up instead of 16 it would be at.least 30 kids in that station wagon.taking them into I believe one of the.first daycare centres established.daycare centers in the city of Albany so.I want to thank you for that.I just want you to know that you know.you're a leader.community day and I I applaud you off of.what you are doing because this is.something that really means a lot to me.I love the history of my family I love.the history of my fellow people whether.they're white or black there's some.things that you hope that you're never.experienced but I had a friend who's um.who turned out to be the god mother of.my daughter her father was lynched in.Mississippi so there were all a.culmination of the experiences that we.had and these are the reasons why we do.some of the things that we do today and.every now and then we have to be.reminded of what we have gone through in.life to make sure as we move forward to.the future we take those experiences.with us and do things that is going to.make it better for the people of the.next day I brought my great grandson.with me today you know you always get.stuck sometimes kids think that you.don't have a job I have a job but at any.rate school is out we know that and I.wish we could have filled this place up.with those kids that are out of school.so they could have heard some of these.stories that were told today so right.now what I want to thank each and every.one of you for attending this event and.so we're all going to get together for a.group photo and finish eating the food.that is here thank you all for coming.out.[Applause].

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