Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Lesson in Music, History; Betty Jackson Cotman Ahead of Her Time

In 1929, some 26 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, young Betty Jackson was one of only three black students enrolled at Washington. The other two were prominent athletes, she recalls.

Today, at a still young 84, Betty remembers many of her teachers and friends. "We all got along. There weren't any problems," she said last Friday at A Place for Grace, her former church which sits adjacent to Washington School.

Last week, Betty was a special guest of Hillsboro philanthropist Mary Brown Turner. Betty had the honor - actually, she honored us - of playing the final chords on an 1865 Decker Brothers piano that has been part of the former Wesleyan Methodist Church since the 1930s.

The church never sounded so good in all its 133 years.

Before playing, Betty winked at her small, but enthusiastic audience, and said "Never get old."

Continued ..

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