February is Black History month, which highlights the Black community’s contributions, culture, and impact on America. While school students learn about the contributions of famous Black citizens, Jackson resident Carlos Duffey wants Butts County students and others to also learn about the contributions of local residents.
“We always highlight the national heroes in Black history, but sometimes we forget about people who have made an impact on our local communities,” said Duffey. “So I just wanted to make sure that we highlighted those people as the month went on, and we’ve gotten a good response.”
Duffey, an insurance agent at Tim Broyles’ State Farm Insurance office in Jackson and the founder of the community running group We Run Jackson, Duffey is using his own Facebook page to feature brief biographies and photos of Black Butts County residents who have made a difference.
“I just want people to know those stories, like Mr. Jessie Raymond Taylor,” Duffey said. “He was a Black business owner who started in 1945. A lot of people don’t know that. Our town was still segregated, yet he was still running a successful business.
“My father, Jesse Duffey, is another one. A lot of people know him, but they really don’t know his back story and the impact he’s made on the community where politics is concerned, being involved with the parks and recreation for almost 40 years.
“We just want to get those stories out so people are aware of it, especially our younger generation. Social media is their go-to place now, so when they see it, they can read their stories and it makes where they live relevant.”
Black citizens highlighted to date and those to come include Taylor, Duffie, Tamera Benton Ansari, Doris “Big Momma” Hunter, Harvey J. Norris, Charles Ingram, Tiffany N. Taylor, Kenneth “Kenny” Sims, Melinda Ellis, Arthur White, Belinda Thurman Davis, Fredrick J. Head, Caressa T. Gordon, Dr. David Jenkins, Robert Henderson, Eddie Travis, and C.W. Chester.
“I wanted to highlight people that have impacted our community, but also those who transcend racial lines. Those people have been successful as citizens, not just because their Black, but because they’ve been good people in our community and have had good character and always looked to share their good will. That, to me, is important to highlight.”
Following are brief snippets from some of the biographies Duffey has done. The complete stories can be found on Duffey’s Facebook page at Carlos Scoot Duffey.