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  • Description is exactly "This is a newspaper article about W.C. Handy and a benefit concert he was performing at to raise money for a black school. According to Florence historian Lee Freeman, the concert was to raise funds for a black school to "serve children of Blessed Martin De Porres Catholic Mission in Florence. This Negro mission was founded by Florence's St. Joseph Catholic Church at 648/650 (both addresses are given for different years) W College St. in the mid-1940s. The priest was Rev. Fr. Isidore Fussnecker OSB of St. Joseph. Roman Catholic Convert and African-American Florence business woman Bessie McAlister Foster (1887-1963) was instrumental in founding this mission, which evolved into our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Sheffield, AL. The Methodist Handy played this concert, arranged by parishioners Bessie M. Foster and Magnolia Watkins, with the assistance of Fr. Fussnecker. Florence Mayor EF Yeilding welcomed Handy back to Florence and City Commissioner and executive secretary of the Chamber of Commerce C Hewlett Jackson presented Handy with a handsome inscribed trophy. I'm not sure if the school was ever built.""
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