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Children Urged To Learn Black History

A large crowd displays the Black Flag on steps of Springfield City Hall

Black History Month began Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts with an annual flag-raising at City Hall.

A large audience that included children from a city elementary school and a Head Start classroom were urged by keynote speaker, Dr. Alonzo Sheffield, 95, a retired physician to learn their history.

" I think it will help them in their studies and appreciate what the situation is today," said Sheffield.

Sheffield is part of local black history, he was one of the first African Americans to practice medicine in Springfield when he began a general practice in 1947.  

This was the 30th annual Black American Heritage flag-raising in Springfield.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.