By Journal Staff Writer
Amy Smith-Hall, the granddaughter of William Smith, to whom Smith Park, which sits on Door St, and Lawrence and Fernwood Ave, is named in honor of, is just getting to know her grandfather; who died before she was born.
“I’m really learning about my grandfather,” she told a group of people at Mott Branch Library, 1085 Door St, who were gathered on Tuesday, February 20.
Sandra Brown, inclusive diversity coordinator for Mott Branch, told The Toledo Journal that the event is not only to celebrate the accomplishments of William Smith, but introduce the community to the man who the park is named after, and will be the future home of the new, state of the art Mott Branch Library.
Besides serving on numerous boards in Toledo, Ms. Smith-Hall said about her grandfather, worked to help keep African American youth out of jail. “And, helped them use the legal system to avoid being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War; all of which occurred, during the Jim Crow era, when African American families were being destroyed because of the draft.”
“I think it’s fantastic that the library is bringing life to his legacy, and introducing my grandfather to the community,” she said. “From everything I read about my grandfather, and was told about him, he was a community man. In fact, the community was his family,” Ms. Smith-Hall said.
Raechel Walker, youth and young adult coordinator for the NAACP, was in attendance. She said, “I grew up in this area, and I’m really glad to see that William Smith is being introduced to the community. Even as I was growing up, the area always had a strong family background. I’m really looking forward to seeing the new library being built in the area for the families.”
Tentative groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new library will be April 9.