"Black History: The faith of our forefathers"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 20:00

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

— Hebrews 11:1-3

George Stephen Hall was born June 1, 1921 to Oscar and Beatrice Hall. He died in October 1976 in Fayetteville, NC. I chose my father because we often forget those who are not written in the history books and we only find their names in the daily news.

On Saturday, October 12, 1963 the Hampton Daily News had an article on a Ft. Eustis Detachment leaving for the Antarctica. For the past two years, these expeditions were made by the Army Transportation Board but the team in 1963 will be from the Transportation Center.

This was during the time when you did not see black people and white people pictures in the paper together; they pictured three black men in the newspaper and amongst them was my father’s picture. However, this was a team of 14 officers and enlisted men from Fort Eustis, Virginia. This team was instrumental in supporting the mapping expedition by flying the UH-1b Iroquois helicopters. They were to map portions of Marie Byrd Land starting at Horlick Mountains where the 1962 expedition had ended. The expedition would continue to Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in the South Pole Region.

My father returned safely from this expedition. Some interesting things about my father, George Hall was that he was a conversationalist, a builder; he built his on airplane, all his televisions, and radios. My father was a man of adventure and had many friends.

George Stephen Hall was man of faith who left his children with many wonderful memories; however, little is known about this black man and his team of explorers mapping the land. This month is Black History Month, which gives us an opportunity to look at the lives of trailblazers. John Hope (1804-1936) was called Builder of Men. He was responsible for changing the separate schools into a unified system of education for many women and men. He made a significant impact on the Atlanta University System that people were speaking of him as though he was lived 12 years after his death.

I have presented you with two historical facts the Ft. Eustis Transportation Center Expedition-George Hall and John Hope who changed the education system which continues to impact us today. Our forefathers needed faith to accomplish these magnificent things to make our life better. What are we doing to change the world that we live in? Do we trust and believe in ourselves and our dreams or are we allowing our dreams to be dormant. I say to you, “Put your dreams into action.” Have faith in yourself and move forward.

This column is the opinion of Rev. Gracie Jackson.

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