This February, Philly.com’s Instagram account will be handed off to several black Philadelphia figures who will use it to share experiences and stories that connect them to Black History Month.
FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia anchor Alex Holley took control of the account first, choosing to highlight the impact that African-Americans have had on Philadelphia, and the sites around the city that remind her of that influence on a daily basis. Holley came to town in 2014 to co-anchor FOX 29’s morning newscast. In that time, she has explored Philadelphia and immersed herself in the culture on her way to becoming the city’s new “it” anchor.
Among the places she highlighted: Philadelphia’s statue of civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto. Catto fought for equality in the aftermath of the Civil War and successfully protested to desegregate trolleys in Philadelphia while fighting to bring the vote to black citizens.
That only begins to scratch the surface of the impact Catto had on this city, this country and on Holley.
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is another Philadelphia landmark that Holley enjoys visiting.
The church was founded in 1787 by Richard Allen.
Allen was born into slavery and worked to buy his freedom. He founded the AME denomination, allowing African-Americans to have a home of worship without oppression, and was a pillar in the fight to abolish slavery.
Two years ago, a U.S. stamp was released to honor Allen and a ceremony was held in the church that Holley recommends you visit.
Philadelphians are seeing a few new pieces of art around town. Nine to be exact.
High school students throughout the city helped to decorate several statues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., drawing on his legacy to inspire them.
Holley has seen a few of them around Philadelphia already, but she isn’t done yet.
Holley’s connection to Black History Month goes beyond the symbols and monuments that she spends time visiting in Philadelphia.
It also lives in her relationship with her grandfather.
While in Washington D.C., Holley had the opportunity to report from National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The history that she was learning about, her grandfather lived, giving him the ability to shed light on things in a way no textbook ever could.
That passing down of knowledge, from one generation to another, is something that has created a strong bond for Holley and her grandfather. It has helped her learn about just how far African-Americans have come in this country.
Follow Philly.com’s Instagram account and be on the lookout for more Instagram takeovers as Black History Month continues. Share your thoughts, questions and stories in the comments of the posts.