This is a collection of articles, pictures, and videos for the Legacy of Black Business Awards Gala, that was held on Friday, October 5, 2018 at the TECCC | Trinity Education Community & Conference Center in Columbia. The purpose of the Legacy of Black Business is to honor the legacy and history of historic and long-serving African-American businesses in the Midlands. It is also an opportunity to record and share the history of the business owners and their families.

This year’s Gala focused on businesses that served Columbia’s Waverly community for at least three decades. Thirty-eight businesses were honored.

“Usually when we do these events, we have about 18 – 20 honorees,” Carolina Panorama publisher Nate Abraham Jr. told the crowd of nearly 300 people. “The search committee started with a list of 179 businesses in the Waverly community before getting to a final list of 38 businesses. We greatly underestimated the power of Waverly.”

Rev. Chaunte McClure and Ms. Kimberlei Davis from WOLO ABC TV served as the Mistresses of Ceremonies. Local Historian Sonya Hodges-Grantham shared the history of the Waverly community. Jeffrey Lampkinof 101.3 FM made a special guest appearance and performed the song “How I Made it Over.”

Saxophonist Jonathan Goforth entertained the guests throughout the evening.

Keynote speaker Ronald Harvey of Global Core Strategies gave a resounding salute to the honorees.

Guest Star and playwright Effie Hilton of E’Faith Productions sent the attendees home with a rousing rendition of the song “A Change is Going to Come.”

Many honorees were greatly appreciative that the heritage and efforts of their family was finally being recognized.

“I would like to congratulate Carolina Panorama Newspaper and the sponsors for this awesome event. The number of businesses recognized was outstanding. It was also an honor for me and my son to be invited to represent my father as one of the honorees. In addition, the standing ovation we received for his commitment and sacrifices made for the community was extremely heartwarming. The Elmore family would like to thank all of the attendees for the support of this wonderful event and remembering Historic Waverly Community,” said Cresswell Elmore, son of George Elmore. Elmore owned several businesses in the Waverly community, but lost them when the white power structured put him out of business for leading the fight to get Black people the right to vote.

Nate Abraham Jr. said that the Legacy of Black Business Gala was created because “we must tell our stories lest we forget.” That point was driven home during the planning for the 2018 Gala.

“David E. Mozie stopped by the office and we were going through the photos of his mother’s business, Spurlox Beauty Salon,” Abraham recalled. “During our conversation, he remembered that his grandfather, D.D. Mozie, had a contracting business and had built many buildings in Columbia. Because of that, he was able to search archives to learn more about his grandfather and history of some of the buildings that his grandfather’s company had built.”

Gala organizers said that it is also important to remember the spirit of community that existed back then.

“This was our fifth Legacy of Black Business Gala,” said event organizer Patricia Abraham. “The recurring story that we find during our research is that the businesses of yesteryear had each other backs. Many businesses would hire young men to keep them off the streets. If someone was in need and the word got out, the businessmen and women in the community would work together to help them.”

Mrs. Abraham went on to say that one of the things she loves the most about hosting the Legacy of Black Business Galas is that it often feels like a family reunion of businesses. The event brings together people who haven’t seen each other in decades.

“We had people travel from as far as California to attend this event,” she said.

Other honorees were excited to share their history with younger members of their family.

“My son, Irvin H. said the Waverly Community was like a Black Hollywood,” said Cecily Johnson, whose family owned the Town “N” Tourist Motel and Restaurant.”

This year’s honorees include:

Dr. Lonnie Randolph Optometrist

Colored Undertaking

Sullivan Funeral Home

Bowman Trucking

The Original Blue Ribbon Cab

Elk’s Rest

House of Joy

Family Painting Company

Johnnie P. McRant Cabinet Shop

Hops Spaghetti House

Ruperts Grill

The Shady Rest Park

Town “N” Tourist Motel & Restaurant

Waverly Dining Room

Hop’s TV & Appliance

Aaron’s Fruit & Vegetable Stand

Gadson Grocery

Gator’s Place

Hills Grocery

Satterwhite Grocery

Soc Filling Station Cafes & Valley Park Grocery

Chappelle Building (multiple businesses)

Cromartie Enterprises (multiple businesses)

George Elmore (multiple businesses)

Aaron Jenkins, Sr. (multiple businesses)

Millwood Dry Cleaners

Alphia Garrett’s Beauty Shop

Anne’s Beauty Shop

House of Styles

Jenell’s Beauty Salon

Mary’s Beauty Salon

Phine’s Beauty Salon

Reese Beauty & Barber Supply

Simuel’s Barber Shop

Spurlox Beauty Shop (and D.D. Mozie Contracting)

Pope’s Pora Beauty College

Waverly School of Beauty Culture

The Chicken Man

The sponsors for the 2018 Legacy of Black Business are Friends of James Clyburn Foundation, City of Columbia Mayor Benjamin, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Columbia Housing Authority, Construction Dynamics Inc., DESA/MBDA Center, Columbia SC63, AARP, The Salmond Group at Morgan Stanley, The Friendly Caterer, The Family of Eddie Dixon- Legacy of Black Business 2017, Coalition of 100 Black Women and Claflin University.

All portraits may  may be viewed online at www.eventimaging.photoreflect.com

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