SGTC Instructor Katrice Taylor Speaks at College’s Black History Program

February 25, 2019
An African American female stands behind a podium
SGTC English intstructor Katrice Taylor spoke at the recent Black History Month program on the college’s Cordele campus.

Growing up as an African American female wasn’t always easy, South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) instructor Katrice Taylor told a standing-room-only crowd at the Black History Month program held recently on the college’s Cordele campus.

The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), the student organization who sponsored the event, invited Taylor to serve as the keynote speaker for the program. Kari Bodrey, admissions coordinator for the college’s Cordele campus, offered an introduction and welcomed Taylor to the stage.

“Sometimes it may seem that I have a disadvantage on both sides of the spectrum,” the English instructor said as she introduced her speech. “But growing up, I had great African American influences in my life. I want to use this speech today to show how the African American woman specifically played a part in history which has also resonated in my life.”

Although she pays tribute to prominent figures such as Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks in her speech, Taylor opted to speak about some of the figures that are often skipped over in the history books. She focused her speech on the figures that have helped promote the beauty of African American women.

She spoke about the likes of Madam CJ Walker and Annie Malone, who paved the way for Gwen Jimmere – who in 2015 became the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. She went on to talk about Jackie Ormes, the first African American cartoonist who inspired the first dolls of color, which were later mass produced by Beatrice Wright Brewington, an African American woman who founded B. Wright’s Toy Company.

Taylor talked about key literary figures, their definitions of beauty, and talked about models like Donyale Luna and Beverly Johnson, who broke the color barrier for supermodels.

“As I close, I can’t help but make a call that we celebrate all everyday heroes – no matter their nationality or gender – that may have an impressionable influence on the children that may not know just how important they are,” she said. “But as I look at all of these women and how they shaped black history and my personal life, I cannot forget the closest African American woman in my life that I know personally – and that is my mom,” Taylor said in closing as she went on to talk about the influence her mother had on her life.

The program also included a welcome from Julie Partain, dean of enrollment at SGTC, an invocation from Pastor Keith Lewis, a moving musical tribute by SGTC alumnus Meshia Sanders and historical spotlights of three influential African American figures by NTHS members Samantha Campbell, Nicole Embry and Christopher Mathews.

South Georgia Technical College’s Crisp County Center Black History program speakers (l to r) Pastor Kieth Lewis, Samantha Campbell, Christopher Mathews, Katrice Taylor, Nicole Embry and Kari Bodrey stand together following the program.