Moultrie native among 6 to be honored in Albany

Sep. 13—ALBANY, Ga. — A Moultrie native will be honored Saturday for his role as the former director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute.

Frank Wilson, a 1963 graduate of William Bryant High School, retired in 2020 after leading the institute for six years.

Wilson was keynote speaker at Williams Tabernacle CME Church's Sarah Everett Daniels Black History Program in 2019, and a Moultrie Observer article previewing that event included his biography: Wilson received his Bachelor of Science degree in history and education from Fort Valley State College (now University) and holds a Master's in Public Administration from Suffield University. He is a career education and community service professional having served some 42 years in various educational, governmental and community services positions. He retired in 2010 from Albany State University having served in several student-based positions.

In August of 2013, he was appointed interim executive director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute, and was appointed executive director in February 2014, the article read.

Wilson is among six people who'll be recognized for their work in the areas of civil rights, social justice and community improvement at Hometown Black Heroes Family Day 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Albany Museum of Art.

The other guests of honor will be the Hon. Herbert Phipps, retired Georgia Court of Appeals judge; Rutha Harris, one of the original Freedom Singers; Charles Sherrod, a former Albany city commissioner; Shirley Sherrod, executive director, Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education and a member of the newly formed U.S. Department of Agriculture Equity Commission; and Darrell Sabbs, community benefits director for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

"With the marvelous tributes to national and international difference-makers in the 'Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice' exhibition as an inspirational setting, the Albany Museum of Art is pleased to recognize and honor these six deserving individuals from our community who have positively impacted not only our Southwest Georgia region, but our state and nation," AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. "They are true inspirations to current and future generations in our community and region."

"Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice" is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for this project is provided by Art Bridges. All artworks are from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a gift of the Harmon Foundation.

"We are happy to partner with Albany State University and the Dougherty County School System in this event that recognizes these influential individuals," AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. "ASU students will be sharing their performing talents at the event, and DCSS students will, in the vein of William H. Johnson, display their visual tributes to our local heroes."

A special highlight of the event will be a performance by Rutha Harris, one of the original Freedom Singers formed 60 years ago at what was then Albany State College. The Freedom Singers, who fused church-style a cappella singing with protest songs, drew aid and support to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the Civil Rights Movement. Through Harris's powerful voice, the story of those turbulent times and the subsequent trials and triumphs for rights and justice have resonated in the decades since.

Also performing at Hometown Black Heroes Family Day will be the Dougherty High School Chorale and Saints of God House of Worship Choir. AMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Katie Dillard will share insights on the "Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice" exhibition with those attending.

"The juxtaposition of the national heroes depicted in 'Fighters for Freedom' with our local heroes will remind us that we can all make a difference in our communities," Vanoteghem said.