orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Our Community

November 25, 2012

Museum to honor pioneers of Orange

ORANGE — A young man in Orange was shot at before he could vote in the 1950s.

“I do not recall which civil rights law was passed that day,” Henry Lowe, more commonly known as Jitterbug, said. “Being a young man at the time, I didn’t pay much attention to those things and went out that night anyway.”

Jitterbug and a neighbor would put their key into their respective front doors and wait so they could each enter their own house at the same time. That particular night, Jitterbug saw a car approaching just as he opened his door.

“A bullet glazed my head and I dove into the house,” Jitterbug said.

Another man stopped by shortly to check on Jitterbug and told him he should not have been out that night because of a civil rights law that had been passed.

“That is when I told my mother I was leaving Orange,” Jitterbug said.

It was several years before he returned to the area for a visit and now once again lives in Orange.

As part of giving back to the community, he is now organizing a non-profit organization to establish The Orange African American Museum.

“Teenagers today know the name Martin Luther King, but they do not know what he did,” Jitterbug said. “They do not know civil right leaders.”

The organization, while still in the early stages, is hoping to create a place to honor ancestors and pioneers of early Orange.

“We struggled to make our own way in Orange,” Jitterbug said. “Black history is an everyday thing not just for February.”

Denton County in Texas has an African American Museum.

“If that small area can have one, then we can too” Jitterbug said. “They showed us it can be done.”

The organization has established a board of directors, by laws and a constitution. They are also looking for a volunteer grant writer.

The organization is open to the public.

“There is so much that our young children need to know,” Jitterbug said. “So many great people came from this area and we should honor them.”

One such man, Elzie D. Odom, while not originally from Orange, was the first black elected official in Orange County in 1965 and the fifth black Postal Inspector in the nation in 1967.

Musician and singer Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, originally of Orange, was known throughout music circles as a talented player. He had a music career spanning 57 years. He won a Grammy Award in 1982 for traditional blues for the record, “Alright Again.”

“Many people have told me about or shown me items they have collected,” Jitterbug said.

Hopefully, one day in the new future, the group will have a building to showcase the history.

 

1
Text Only
Our Community
  • Scholarship Recipients Orange Rotary Club announces scholarship winners

    For years, Orange Rotary Club has supported its local youth with scholarship award opportunities for higher education.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Award of Excellence Hester receives Award of Excellence

    Texas 4-H Youth and Development 2014 Salute to Excellence Honoree is Kathy Hester of Orange County. Mrs. Hester has been a part of 4-H for over 30 years. She is the club manager for the Mighty Pirates 4-H in Vidor.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dance conference to be held July 19

    Mt. Olive Baptist Church and M.B.S. Dance Company presents the “Something To Dance About” Dance Conference.

    July 11, 2014

  • New Officers Announced VHS Interact Club installs new officers

    The Vidor High School Interact officers for the 2014-2015 school year are, from second at left to right: President Taylor Frazier, Vice President Tiffany Charleston, Secretary Madison Marino and Treasurer Mallory Gray. They are pictured with Rotary Assistant District Governor Bobby Simon of Nederland. Interact is a Rotary affiliate.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officers installed Vidor Rotary installs new officers

    Vidor Rotary Club officers for the 2014-2015 year, pictured with Assistant Governor Bobby Simon, are left to right, President Darrellyn Ford, Secretary Gayle Nagai, and Treasurer Johnnie Brown.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business of the Month Business of the Month

    The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce recognized Reliable Dry Cleaners as its Business of the Month during its Monthly Networking Coffee held at the Bridge City Library earlier this month.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Literacy Promotion Month

    Vidor Rotarians Gayle Nagai, at left, and Leslie Williamson love literacy. Here they are joining in Rotary International's Literacy Promotion Month, June.

    June 28, 2014

  • Dawn Fournier Neches FCU promotes assistant vice presidents

    Jason Landry, President and CEO of Neches Federal Credit Union proudly announces the promotion of Dawn Fournier, Kristin Butler, Jill Sandberg and Alta Frazier.

    June 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • Lunch bunch speaker Talking with the 'Lunch Bunch'

    The guest speaker for Lunch Bunch at the Vidor Public Library on June 19 was Rebekah Maxwell.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Employees of Month Employees of the Month

    The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce recognized Officer Timothy Reeves, second from left, and Officer Jesse Byrd, second from right, of the Bridge City Police Department as its Employees of the Month during the monthly Networking Coffee event held earlier this month at the Bridge City Public Library. Pictured, from left to right, are Bridge City Chamber Ambassador Dave Derosier, Officer Timothy Reeves, Officer Jesse Byrd and Police Chief Paul Davis.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide