Columbus educator to speak about Underground Railroad

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — The John Gee Historical Society will present its 24th annual Black History program at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 at Paint Creek Baptist Church, 833 Third Ave.

Presentations and music will be provided by local people in the surrounding area.

The keynote speaker will be Cathy D. Nelson, who will talk about the Underground Railroad in Ohio.

Nelson has been an educator in the Columbus Public School System for 35 years. She is founder and president emeritus of the Friends of Freedom Society, a 19th century historical research organization whose main focus is the Underground Railroad.

Nelson testified in congressional hearings for both the House of Representatives and the Senate on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1997. She is sponsored by and is an active member for, the Ohio Humanities Council’s “Ohio’s Frontier” program.

According to, Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

For more information about the local program, call Dorothy Casey at 740-446-2447.

Staff Report