ANNAPOLIS — On Saturday, March 29, 2014, The Northern Arundel Cultural Preservation Society and Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center presented the 7th Annual Ladies, Hats and Tea. The event was held at The Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center located at 1101 Smithville Street in Annapolis.
The Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center was the only African American high school in Anne Arundel County from 1933-1966. Students commuted from all over Anne Arundel County in order to obtain a high school education. The high school is named in honor of Wiley H. Bates, the fourth black man to hold elected office in Annapolis. Bates provided the funding to purchase the land so that the school could be built.
March was Women’s History month. The Ladies, Hats and Tea honored noteworthy women. It featured live vocal performances, awards, door prizes, local vendors and spoken words of dynamic women such as Alma Cropper who sang “Lead me, Guide Me” a song by Doris Akers, who was honored in 1922 by The Smithsonian Institution as “The Foremost Black Gospel Songwriter in The United States.” In 2011, Akers was inducted into The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Currently The Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, also known as The Legacy Center, serves as a boys and girls club, a residential center for the elderly and a museum.
The Wiley H. Bates Scholarship fund provides scholarships to students with a GPA of 2.5. – 3.0 for a college education.
On April 16, 2014, The Legacy Center will host a free reception with light hors d’oeuvres and quilt exhibit entitled “Legacy: Our Collective Stories & Strength” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please call to reserve your seat no later than April 10, 2014.
The Legacy Center is a wonderful place to host your own event. It is available for site rental and group tours. For more information, call 410-263-1860 or email: Wileyhbates11@verizon.net