Community center to host May Day

Published 9:50 pm Monday, May 7, 2018

By Oniska Blevins
The Selma Times-Journal

Emanuel M. Brown’s passion for education led him to founding the historic Street Manual Training School, a one-classroom school for African American youth in 1904. Modeled after Tuskegee Institute, the school was open for 68 years, and Brown served as headmaster until his death in 1960.
Now, in the area where the original building once stood for many years, the E.M. Brown Community Center is servicing the community.
Lionel Smith, president of the E.M. Brown Community Center, said the community center serves just as great a purpose in the community today as it did in the early 1900s. “We feed all the senior citizens in the neighborhood that want to come out,” Smith said. “If they don’t have a way [there], we make sure they do have a way.”
Local citizens also reserve the building for events and are only asked to make a donation to the center.
In efforts of building a new building, the alumni has sponsored a May Day event for May 12. The event will start at 10 a.m. and end at sunset.
“The May Day is one of our biggest fundraisers,” he said.
“We [are] raising money to put up a new facility.”
Smith said the new building will be about 3,000 square feet and will be in the location of the old Emanuel Brown High School.
The free event will have face painting, games, vendors, a car/truck show and live music. All vendors are asked to pay $50 and proceeds will benefit the community center.
The alumni will also be selling $2 raffle tickets for a chance to win a 50- inch flatscreen television.
Even though this day will consist of fun filled events, there will also be some serious business discussed. Candidates for sheriff and probate judge will be in attendance to express their interest in the positions and answer questions from the community.
“We will give each politician ample amount of time to get up and explain to the people what they stand for,” Smith said.
Smith said the May Day is not the only fundraiser alumni has throughout the year.
This November, they will also be hosting a chili sale featuring a car/truck show.