County Residents To Share Stories of Civil Rights History

One resident was not allowed to receive a library card or read books in the library. Another grew up in a property bought by his great-great-grandmother who was a slave to the Beall family in Rockville. But all of them had one thing in common: they fought and still fight for equal, fair, and just treatment for everyone.

On Feb. 24, six county residents will talk about the history they lived through the civil rights movement in the county at 10 a.m. with a special Black Month History Celebration in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

black history monthThe six county residents are:

Christine “Tina” Clarke is a historian and avid reader. While growing up she was not allowed to receive a library card or read book in the library. Clarke, who is a Montgomery County native, is the granddaughter of Noah E. Clarke- a teacher and the son of a freed slave- and is a witness to local African-American history.

Warren Crutchfield up on a property that was bought by his great-great-grandmother- a slave to the Beall family in Rockville. He attended Carver High School during segregation, became an Olympian in track and field, and also served in the U.S. Army. He was Sherwood High School girls basketball team coach for 32 years and won state titles in 1974 and 1976.

The Rev. Dr. Ruby Reese Moone is known for her civil rights activism. She is a member of the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame, and frequently speaks on civil and human rights issues throughout the community and on the national level. She has served as the female chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Committee in Montgomery County. She was also Maryland State President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and is a member of the Montgomery County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

James C. Offord is an advocate for fair and affordable housing; an active fighter for civil rights and active in political and civic organizations. He has worked in the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) where he focused on minority programs. After retirement, he continued to work and is also a member of Montgomery County’s Human Rights Hall of Fame.

Odessa Shannon was the first Montgomery County African American woman elected official. She was elected to the Board of Education in 1982 and  was one of the original directors of the National Political Congress of Black Women. Shannon began her life of public service as a teacher in Baltimore. As national program director at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she worked with state and local human rights agencies across the nation. After retiring, Shannon served as special assistant to County Executive Charles Gilchrist, deputy director of family resources, and director of the Office of Human Rights. She is a member and founder of the Montgomery County’s Human Rights Hall of Fame.

Harvey Zeigler was a contributor to the cultural progress of the northern part of Montgomery County. Zeigler  is a resident of Damascus and has worked to integrate clubs, churches, and businesses. He also helped to organized protests, and his efforts have changed discriminatory loan policies at local banks, and fought for sensitivity training and equal employment opportunities in the federal government and MCPS.

This ceremony is scheduled to be televised live by County Cable Montgomery- Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon. Streamed live here.



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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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