South Charlotte

Lowes celebrates Black History Month

It wasn't business as usual at the Home Depot in Matthews last weekend.

On Feb. 26, the store celebrated Black History Month with displays, a choir and door prizes.

Store manager Jeff Pfister says the event was one of many ways the store tries to celebrate and serve their community.

Employees from all over the district created displays of famous African Americans. With a short walk down the first aisle, customers could learn about Rosa Parks, Colin Powell, Madame C.J. Walker, Jackie Robinson, Joe Lewis, and more.

Several displays depicting local African American history were set up near the cabinet and appliance section.

Crestdale resident and designer of the current Mecklenburg County seal, Harvey Boyd, manned a display board he created depicting the history of Matthews' oldest African American community.

Independence High School custodian and freelance photographer Greg McMurray stood beside his display of photographs of African American entertainers, politicians and dignitaries he shot over the past four decades. McMurray said he was the first black still photographer for Channel 9 and worked for several newspapers and photo labs before his current stint with the school system.

Nate Huggins, CEO and director of Blessed Assurance Adult Daycare, displayed a list of current prominent local African Americans. Ken Dixon, who works at the Home Depot on Providence Road, displayed his research on black Confederate Soldiers.

While they shopped, customers could receive free blood pressure checks, enjoy free popcorn, win door prizes, and hear a performance by the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Choir.

McMurray's wife, retired teacher Marlena McMurray, said the event was about more than just appreciating the contributions of African Americans - it was also about realizing potential.

"This isn't just about the black race - it's all races. People put you in a box and that is so unfortunate. People see the title 'custodian' and they don't realize that Greg has all these talents. I come into a school building as a substitute and they don't realize that I have 30 years in the classroom. People see you and think the scope is so narrow. We need to understand that the possibilities are limitless," said McMurray.