I talk about my first encounter with historic individuals in Part 1 (A Personal Perspective) in which I reminisce about Gwendolyn Keith-Edwards. Gwen and I naturally gravitated to one another in my freshmen year of high school. I was extremely shy and so it was a relief to find a friend on that very first day on top of trying to fit in.
Her father, Luther C. Keith, was a prominent Catholic and real estate agent, who use to find property for the archdiocese of Detroit to purchase in order to build their churches and schools for new catholic communities in the city of Detroit. He helped Fr. Norman Dukette procure a location for his first church, St. Benedict the Moor, a former Lutheran church. His brother (Gwen’s uncle) is the Honorable Judge Damon Keith. I discovered that Gwen’s mother was equally as active as her husband. She (Savella) was involved in civic affairs and they entertained foreign figures in their home. Gwen’s brother Luther A. Keith, former Detroit News’ senior editor & media consultant, did a tribute to his father in a Detroit News special section. He said he did not appreciate what his father’s legacy was until he got old enough to understand it. He and I talked about this extensively because I didn’t understand how talented my mother was until someone else pointed it out. We don’t realize the history we are surrounded with until it is written about and explored.
Mother Anna Bates who was the founder of our little church used to teach piano lessons to all the kids in the neighborhood including me. I went to school all those years and never knew who she really was. And so I found many surprises as I delved into the history of OLV.
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