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No Smoking Youth Club takes tour of Black Heritage Museum

February 28, 2007

The No Smoking Youth Club took a tour of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum for their outing during Black History Month.

Charles "Sonny" Doleman gave the group an energetic tour that included historical items ranging from World War II memorabilia to black hair-care products from the 1800s.

The youth club learned a lot about black history, starting with a story of segregation in colleges. Blacks in Washington County, who wanted to attend college in the early 1900s, attended college in West Virginia due to segregation. Club members saw a 1920 Storer College diploma that belonged to Selina Harmon.

They also heard of the legend of Jacko Graves, a 12-year-old who died while holding horses for Gen. George Washington during the famous crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. They also learned of freedom quilts made by slaves to commemorate their freedom.

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They saw a collection of RC Cola soda cans featuring blacks in sports, dating back to the 1970s, including Afro Kola soda cans. A quilt made by Mary Williams in 1848 was also on hand. Williams was freed by Benjamin Ingram after purchasing her freedom.

Doleman allowed the youth club members to peer through an antique photo viewer that he said was the "entertainment" long before television was invented.

The No Smoking Youth Club is a peer-education program that teaches young people about tobacco and other health dangers. It is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA). The MOTA office is run by Brothers United Who Dare To Care.

The program is designed for young people, ages 7 to 12, and includes teen helpers volunteering to fulfill community service requirements. The group meets several times a month and go on monthly field trips to promote an interest in health education and future involvement in health services. The group has a monthly Family and Friends Day gathering that is open to guests who enjoy a health presentation, fellowship meal and other fun activities.

The youth club is planning a Family & Friends Day Banquet in April with funding from the Washington County Health Department's Cigarette Restitution Fund Program.

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