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Representatives Womble;  Baker, Decker, Holmes, McGee, and Parmon.

Referred to:

Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

April 22, 2003

A JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the life and memory of george henry black, former winston-salem resident and well-known african-american brickmaker.

Whereas, George Henry Black was born on February 15, 1879, in Randolph County to a former slave and his wife; and

Whereas, as a boy, George Black moved to Winston-Salem with his father and brother; and

Whereas, George Black made a living hauling bricks and later learned the craft of making bricks by hand; and

Whereas, George Black married Martha Jane Hampton in 1897, and they had eight children; and

Whereas, in 1910, George Black opened his first brickyard; and

Whereas, George Black set high standards for his bricks, which earned him the admiration and respect of the people who chose his products; and

Whereas, even when other brickmakers moved to using machines to make bricks, George Black continued to make his bricks by hand, earning him the title, "The Last Brickmaker in America"; and

Whereas, in the 1940s, George Black established a brickyard near his home, which he worked until 1980; and

Whereas, in 1970, at the age of 91, George Black was commissioned by the United States State Department to travel to Guyana, South America to share his brickmaking expertise with the villagers in that country; and

Whereas, in 1971, George Black was interviewed by Charles Kuralt for the "On the Road" series; and

Whereas, in 1971, George Black was honored by President Richard M. Nixon during a reception at the White House; and

Whereas, George Black's bricks can still be seen on the exterior of numerous houses and buildings in Winston-Salem, the streets of historic Old Salem, and other structures around the world; and

Whereas, the George Black House and Brickyard is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and

Whereas, George Black died in 1980 at the age of 101; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

SECTION 1.  The General Assembly honors the memory of George Black and expresses the gratitude and appreciation of this State and its citizens for his contributions.

SECTION 2.  The General Assembly extends its sympathy to the family of George Black.

SECTION 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the family of George Henry Black.

SECTION 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.