Gynell Hughes, left, shares memories of school days at West Amory High School while Carrie Gibson listens.

AMORY – Members of the last graduating classes of West Amory High School gathered for a homecoming at the Amory Regional Museum Feb. 21 to commemorate Black History Month.

The keynote speaker was Sheryl Dilworth, who was among the writers and artists present to exhibit specimens of their work. Her exhibit of prose was printed on cards for each letter of the alphabet to compliment the evening’s theme, “The ABCs of Black History.”

“We did not make history. History made us,” she said.

Other exhibits included prints of the plans for the original West Amory school, numerous diplomas and photographs from both classes and photo opportunities with public figures through the years.

Dilworth was a member of the West Amory High School Class of 1969, the last class to graduate before Amory’s high schools were consolidated. She encouraged her classmates present to remember their mentors and the mantras they imparted to their students.

She used a familiar line about when life hands out lemons to make lemonade in describing how they had to improvise with less when others had more.

“We made not only lemonade. We made other recipes with lemons that sweetened things up,” she said.

The Rev. Gloria Hogan McKinney offered some memories and sentiments along the same line.

“We learned from used textbooks with torn pages and we painted our dancing shoes gold,” she said.

Museum director Wayne Knox was well pleased with the number of people who turned out for the event despite the continual rains of the week.

“We couldn’t have done it without the work of the volunteers,” he said. “I’m grateful that Sheryl [Dilworth] stepped up to do the keynote presentation.”

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