Providence City Council Honors Local Leaders with Black History Exhibit at City Hall

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In celebration of Black History Month, the Providence City
Council on Tuesday hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening reception for a new
gallery exhibit honoring the first five African American leaders elected in city and
state government. The event was co-hosted with Providence City Archives, Mayor Jorge
O. Elorza, Senator Harold Metts, and Representative Raymond Hull.

The Providence City Council and Providence City Archives partnered to create the
exhibit -Trailblazers: First African Americans in Rhode Island Government – which
honors the accomplishments of five local African American leaders: United States
consul to St. Thomas, Reverend Mahlon Van Horne; former Providence councilman Philip
Addison, Jr.; former Rhode Island state senator Charles D. Walton; former Rhode
Island state representative Maria Lopes; and former Providence councilwoman Balbina
Young. Citations from the Providence City Council were presented to honorees in
attendance.

«The Providence City Council is proud to celebrate Black History Month,» said
Council President Luis Aponte. The achievements of the trailblazers we’re honoring
today play an important role in our city’s past and our city’s future. It is
important for us to recognize the challenges these leaders overcame, and it is my
hope that the stories we share and celebrate today inspire all of us to build a
better future.»

The Trailblazers exhibit will be showcased through the end of February on the third
floor of Providence City Hall.