Shake Rag natives remember BG’s black history

George Washington Carver Center

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Over the weekend, people around the Shake Rag community gathered to celebrate and remember the community’s history.

Longstanding Bowling Green community members flooded the historic George Washington Carver Center to hear guest speakers pass on memories of the town’s rich black history.

Speakers, including local legends like Don Offutt, Ref. Carl Whitfield and Curtis Cosby educated attendees about local people and places. Some of these references included Bowling Green’s 1925 chain gang, the old Bowling Green High School, black colleges, Jonesville and The Southern Queen.

Members of the nonprofit center say one of their goals is to pass on local African American history in hopes that younger generations will carve a clear goal for their futures by looking at where they come from.

“In order to know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you came from,” said speaker Don Offutt. “You’ve got to know the rules, rituals, roles and values of where you came from in order to take the future and the children to a successful place and get them started from there.”

The organization also honored one of their oldest members, 94-year-old Sylvia Parish, whose daughter accepted the award in her absence.