Dr. Raymond Alvarez will present “An African American Experience in Marion County 1850s - 1940s: Harriet Wilson Whitely and Alfred Meade" at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. This presentation is free and open to the public. The program will be followed by a light reception and members of the audience will receive a complimentary copy of Goldenseal, the magazine of traditional West Virginia life.
Alvarez will look at the lives Alfred Meade, a freed slave, and his sister-in-law, Harriet Wilson Whitely (Aunt Hat) who was the last person born into slavery in Marion County. In his presentation, Alvarez will explain how the community responded after her death in 1941 to Whitely’s life of service for a prominent family in Marion County.
Dr. Alvarez, a native of Marion County, holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Virginia University and completed his doctorate in 2006 from Central Michigan University in Healthcare Administration. He is currently a visiting professor and program coordinator for the healthcare management program in the Fairmont State University School of Business. He written four local history publications and have published 17 articles on local and regional history in Goldenseal Magazine. He has also written for Traditions, published by the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Raymond’s research is generally about early 20th Century Fairmont, and he has received grants from the West Virginia Humanities to further his work.
The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is housed in a repurposed barn located along Squibb Wilson Boulevard on the campus of Fairmont State University. The Center is dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of our region's rich cultural heritage and houses academic minors in folklore and museum studies. For additional information about the Center’s programing, call 304-367-4403.