By DiVonta Palmer, Intern
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” As we continue to celebrate Black History Month honoring those known and unsung heroes and heroines who fought, sacrificed, and stood up for the equal rights that everyone is entitled to regardless of their skin color, their beliefs, and social status; there is one young woman who is committed to not only preserving this history, but also wants to bring it to life to all who want to listen and learn. Her name is Mrs. E. Ann Clemons and she is a tourism specialist at Triple E Group Services in Montgomery, Alabama. We here at Gumptown Magazine would like to highlight this queen and her countless contributions to our society.
When asked what influenced her to be in this special field, she stated her almost two decades old experience of working and dealing with people in the public arena, as well as her tourism experience comes from when she moved to Montgomery almost 20 years ago which began when she was employed at the Montgomery Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The main focus of the Montgomery Convention and Visitors Bureau was to assist visitors who were coming to Montgomery, visiting Montgomery, and explore the opportunities that were here,” she informed. She concluded that she wanted visitors to explore the opportunities and provide tour sites to give them a more in-depth experience for those who wanted to learn more about the civil rights history in places like Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, and Tuskegee.
Being a student of history herself, she doesn’t really consider herself a hero but rather a teacher. “I see myself as a teacher that’s teaching folks. The work that I do is to teach people who do not know the history and that do not know the work behind the people. When we mention the well-known icons like Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and those people, there is so much behind what their life really was and who they really were. There are so many other people, but it wasn’t about making a name for themselves. It was about justice! It was about equality,” she exclaimed! She ended that students would come and tell her what an impact she was having on their lives.
Mrs. Clemons may not think of herself as a hero, but she is. She may not be as well-known as those she named, but she is making huge strides to telling our history in its authentic way. It is because of ones like her that our history will continue to be told for generations to come. The late American poet Dr. Maya Angelou explained, “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” So, on behalf of Gumptown Magazine, keep up the great work Mrs. Clemons. We appreciate you.
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