CARBONDALE — Time is fast approaching for the 30th Spirit of Attucks community-wide celebration, which will be July 2 through 4 in Carbondale. This year’s theme is Reflect, Rejoice and Renew. Every effort is being made to make this an exciting and enriching weekend, with the class of 1960 hosting several activities.

Activities on Friday will include Family Day in Attucks Park from 1 to 4 p.m. and Hospitality Night from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the Eurma C. Hayes Center.

Saturday’s activities will include the Burnett Devers’ Breakfast at the Carbondale Middle School from 8 to 11 a.m., fellowship in Attucks Park from 1 to 4 p.m., and a dinner and dance from 7 to 10 p.m. in Carbondale Middle School.

On Sunday, participants are encouraged to attend morning worship service at a church of choice and assemble at 3 p.m. in Hopewell Baptist Church for a memorial services.

Tickets are $10 for the breakfast and $30 for the dinner-dance. Deadline for purchasing tickets will be June 25.

For tickets, contact Nedra Robinson Taylor at 618-549-6541, Delores Mosley Smith at 618-457-5371, Odessa Meeks at 618-457-4724 or other SOA members.

The SOA is an organization comprised of former students and graduates of the former Attucks grade and high schools along with their families and supporters. The organization has not-for-profit status, with operational funds generated through membership dues, fundraisers and donations. Dues are $25 annually and run July 1 through June 30. Ann Marie Shepherd (618-549-4620) is membership chair.

The SOA was started in 1980, with the late Floyd Nesbitt serving as its first president until his death in 1987. The next president was Fred Wills, who served until his death in 2003. Robert “Bob” Wills and Milton McDaniel have served as subsequent presidents.

The officers for 2010 through 2012 are: Paulette Wills Sherwood, president; Darnecea Smith Moultrie, vice-president; Lucinda Miller Vinson, secretary; Hazel Chappell Law, assistant secretary; and Delores Mosley Smith, treasurer. Even though following in the footsteps of her brothers, Paulette is the first female to have been elected president of the SOA.

The African American community in Carbondale has a rich history of advancing educational opportunities, promoting diversity and change, improving living conditions, sharing and encouraging good vocational opportunities, and networking, even though its schools were among the last to desegregate. Parents, teachers and fellow worshippers were actually living out “it takes a village to raise a child” long before this action became in vogue, as that is an on-going cultural practice among African Americans. A chief aim with the organization is to foster next generations of descendants to keep the spirits of the Attucks schools alive and to instill pride and civic awareness as was demonstrated in the northeast community during times of segregation.

The public is cordially invited and encouraged to participate in this three-day celebration. To learn more about the organization and the upcoming celebration, visit our website at

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