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Manteca Senior showcases contributions
black history
Frances Jackson-Smith, a retired teacher, was among the speakers at Wednesday’s Artists Exhibit at the Manteca Senior Center as part of the Black History Month celebration.

Frances Jackson-Smith is a regular of the bid whist group.

She and others partake of this variant of the classic game of whist each week at the Manteca Senior Center.

A retired teacher, Jackson-Smith shared her love of history during the Artists Exhibit Wednesday, in recognition of Black History Month, which concludes today.

“Athletes, entertainers, abolitionists – they all helped paved the way,” she said.

Jackson-Smith was a teacher in Memphis, where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, which is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

She stood in front of poster-sized Ebony magazines featuring MLK Jr. and his family along with President Barack Obama and other cultural figures and events from over the years.

Black History is all part of American history, noted Jackson-Smith.

Gwendolyn Grace was one of the exhibitors at the event.

She brought along her decorated tissue boxes, which was one of several booths.

Besides the art exhibits, the Black History Month program at the senior center facility was ideal for people of all cultures to mix and mingle over lunch and also reminisce about the past.

Tanya Anderson added movement to the event.

She’s a volunteer dance instructor at Stribley’s Community Center in Stockton. It’s there for the past dozen years that Anderson has managed to keep seniors moving with her free “Soul Line” dance activity.

“You have to invest in your health,” she said as a handful of her regulars were joined by visitors at the Black History Month event in doing the dance moves.

Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the U.S., honoring those from all periods, from the enslaved brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to those of today.