NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk's first black teacher and the late author of “Black People Making History in Norwalk” were among those honored Saturday in a Black History Month celebration at the South Norwalk branch of the Norwalk Public Library.
Bernard Unger spoke about his wife, author and language arts teacher Marjorie Unger, who died in November. "Midge" Unger prepared the book in 1970 with the help of her students.
“It was a learning procedure for the kids,” Unger said. “Writing and preparing the material was part of the education system of Norwalk.”
Another of the those honored for her role in Norwalk history also was an integral part of the city's education system. Marguerite Fuller, who was honored by her daughter, Michele Hackett, was the first black teacher hired in Norwalk, where she taught for 15 years. She also taught at the University of Bridgeport.
Fuller was unable to share a room with white students in college due to segregation, but “it was the thrill of her life,” according to her daughter, because she had never had her own room before.
Beatrice “Bea” Brown, a member of the Connecticut State Commission on Human Rights, Ruby Shaw, a social worker, the Rev. Dewitt Stevens and Leroy Vaughan, a principal and football coach, were also honored.
L.O.G. and F.U.T.U.R.E. dance groups and the K-Kids Choir performed for the crowd. The Rev. Kevin Profit, a keyboardist, played as the crowd sang the African American anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to begin the event.
City Clerk Erin Halsey, standing in for Mayor Richard Moccia, issued a Black History Month proclamation that honored African Americans for their heritage and culture and recognized their hard work and dedication.