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History Matters: Voices of the Elders

This month’s History Matters - produced in collaboration with the Delaware Historical Society - examines a series of short documentaries about prominent African Americans called Voices of the Elders presented by the Historical Society’s Center for African American Heritage.

Dr. Jeanne Nutter and filmmaker Paul Kennard produced the films by combining oral histories and archival images. The last documentary in the series -- about Dr. Lozelle DeLuz -- premiered last week in Wilmington. Dr. DeLuz was not only one of the first African Americans to own a McDonald’s franchise in Delaware, she also helped remove racist language from text books.

“There was a news article that ran in several publications, that talked about she exorcises racism and sexism in children’s books. And that was in the 1970s!” said Dr. Nutter.

While each of the six films features a different African American leader, Dr. Nutter said one thing unites all of the people in the series; and that’s drive.

“Each of them had goals in life. Strong goals. You almost can’t be successful without having a goal that you’re trying to reach of some sort,” she said.

The series featured former Wilmington Mayor George Wright, Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, The Reverend Canon Lloyd S. Casson, James Gilliam Sr., Dr. Lozelle DeLuz and  Esthelda Parker-Selby.

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