On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Anna Evans Gilmer will kick off the 2018 Block Speaker Series of “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” programs in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Charleston native Anna Elizabeth Evans Gilmer was the fourth of eight children born to the late William H. and Ollie Brown Evans. After attending Boyd Grade and Junior High schools, she attended Garnet High School, where she was editor of the school newspaper The Eye. Garnet valedictorian in mid-year 1942, she went on to graduate from Bluefield State College in 1946 and complete post graduate work at West Virginia State College and the College of Graduate Studies for certification and enrichment. Gilmer taught English for six years at Sissonville High, substituted for ten years, and taught English at Carver Career Center for three years. She and her late husband of 58 years, the Reverend Paul Gilmer Sr. (Garnet class of 1942), are the parents of five children: Paul Jr, Rodney, Vikki Gilmer-Bayes, the Reverend Charles, and Janet Gilmer-Rowser. She also has 21 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and 2 great greatgrandchildren.
With James Randall, Gilmer co-authored Black Past, a record of area businesses, schools, churches and organizations in the Kanawha Valley. She was a member of the special committee for the West Virginia Women’s Commission and researched and wrote some of the entries in the commission’s book, A Sampling of West Virginia’s African American Women of Distinction. In addition, she was charter member of the Henry Highland Garnet Foundation and an advisor in preserving the African Zion Baptist Church and reconstructing Booker T. Washington’s boyhood cabin in Malden. A West Virginia History Hero, Gilmer also is the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission’s Living the Dream Award, the West Virginia Women’s Commission’s “Unsung Hero” Award, and the West Virginia Black Schools Sports/Academic “Hall of Fame” Historian and Legend Award.
Participants may park behind the Culture Center after 5:00 p.m. on May 31 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround.
For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 6:00pm
WV Culture Center & State Museum, Archives and History Library
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E, Charleston, WV 25305