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West Virginia Archives and History Library

African American Life: A Personal Perspective
Block Speaker Series
May 25, 2017

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, Mary Lawson Booker will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston. The program, which is the first of the 2017 The Block Speakers Series, will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

A native of Charleston, Mary Lawson Booker is the oldest of seven children born to the late Joseph E. and Ludelia Johnson Lawson. She attended Boyd Elementary and Junior High and graduated in 1949 from Garnet High School, where she was a majorette and member of the glee and drama clubs. She also received several certificates from WVU. From her marriage to the late Charles L. Booker Sr. came six children, 17 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.

From 1964 to 1974, Booker worked at Arlan’s Department Store, where she became the first black woman office manager in Charleston. She later worked for Union Carbide, from which she retired in 1993 after 18 years. In 2015, she was honored by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission on the 12th Annual Civil Rights Day.

Mary Booker has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Vandalia for more than 50 years and has served as a Sunday School teacher and held many other offices, among them trustee and secretary of Mount Olive Presidents Council. She also has served as secretary of Guiding Star Chapter 09, Order of the Eastern Star, Matron Golden Eagle Court, #38, Heroines of Jericho, President of Ray of Hope Grand Council of Heroines of Jericho, State of West Virginia. She was inducted into the Garnet Hall of Fame in 1999 and is a member of the Henry Highland Garnet Foundation, serving on the foundation, scholarship and housekeeping committees.

Participants may park behind the Culture Center after 5:00 p.m. on May 25 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround.

For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

West Virginia Archives and History Workshops/Lectures

West Virginia Archives and History