Sunday, December 1, 2013

Alma Harrison Vernon a Woman Pioneers of Amite, Louisiana

Alma Harrison Vernon
There is one African-American woman in Amite, Louisiana that left a legacy for so many in her community. Her name is Alma Harrison Vernon. She was born on April 7, 1923, in Amite, LA., to the late Obie and Carrie Mcknight Harrison.

Mrs. Vernon spent her life educating, empowering and inspiring women throughout the Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes. Mrs. Vernon let her light shine in all that she did and touched. I will never forget the times that I would visit with her and how we spent time talking. She was also an archivist that clipped and saved important newspapers articles about the local black folks that made the news.  She kept very good and detailed records of the churches and community meetings.

Alma Harrison Vernon
Although I didn't have her as a teacher, I still learned so much just by watching and listening to her. She taught my brother Thomas in second grade at Amite Elementary School.  She taught so many of the children in the community.

Alma Harrison Vernon
She received her elementary and high school education in Tangipahoa Parish. She received a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Grambling State University. Mrs. Alma H. Vernon was the wife of Rev. Willard Vernon, and she was the President of the Senior Women Auxiliary of the Little Bethel Baptist Church of Amite, Louisiana. She spoke at the National Baptist Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975. It was the 95th Annual Session of the National Baptist Convention. Her address to the Convention brought many favorable comments, including that of the National President of the Senior Women Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention of American.

While visiting her only daughter Glyniss Vernon Gordon, I had a chance to look through some of the many albums that Mrs. Vernon kept. It was like looking in an archive and I was happy and delighted but not the least surprised of the accomplishments of such an elegant woman whom help shape our community.

One of the awards that I had to make mention of in this blog is the "Certificate of Appreciation" that was presented to Mrs. Alma Vernon in recognition of an important contribution to the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America.

The name shown above will be added to the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama to provide inspiration to all those who choose to take a stand against hatred. The Certificate of Appreciation was signed by Morris Dees, Founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Morris Dees co-founded the SPLC in 1971 following a successful business and law career. He won a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases that helped integrate government and public institutions. He also severed as finance director for former President Jimmy Carter's campaign in 1976 and for Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972.