On Friday, Nov. 5, a grateful and proud Apalachicola
community will come together to pay tribute to Frederick Humphries and thank
his family for sharing him with the world.
The organizing committee is inviting the community to take
part in the exciting events planned for the Friday of Florida Seafood Festival
weekend and experience firsthand the pride the city feels for Dr. Frederick
Born in Apalachicola on Dec. 26, 1935, Humphries grew up in Apalachicola,
and was influenced by a loving, and demanding group of people. He attended Holy
Family Catholic School, one of the few Black Catholic grammar schools in the South
ruled by Sisters of the Holy Family, Black nuns who were relentless
Once, the school scored so high on an exam, the monsignor
suspected cheating and gave the students a different test. This time, their scores
were even better.
During Humphries’ formative years, Apalachicola had a
reputation for high achievers among its African-descended residents. Humphries was
one of those, a young man who loved learning and had respect for his teachers,
one of those being Charles Watson-Clark, also an Apalachicola native son.
Humphries often commented how Watson-Clark, who taught him math and science,
constantly pushed him to do better and to always strive for excellence. Those
statements became his personal mantra, goals he worked towards throughout his
many years as an educator, college professor and college president.
A stint in construction work brought Humphries, then a
fourth grader, under the tutelage of Ruffin Rhodes, who talked incessantly of
the power of education. He once asked Rhodes what was the highest education
degree, and his response, a PhD led Humphries to Florida A& M University,
where a chemistry degree launched the young Humphries from the port town on the
Gulf Coast on a career path that had an extraordinary impact on many thousands
of Black students, their families and our nation.
The members of the Tribute Committee – Sheneidra Cummings, Marzetta
Davis, Chauncey Ford, Elinor Mount-Simmons, Tami Ray-Hutchinson, Talitha
Robinson, Willie Tolliver, Harolyn Walker, Dreamal Worthen, Myrtis Wynn and Falan
Goff, Dr. Humphries niece are asking the community to support the tribute by
contributing as a Patron $1,000; a Partner $500; or a Friend $100.
All donations are tax-deductible. Your generosity will make
a difference in our community by allowing us to honor this great Apalachicola
native son, who held the vision that upon his death, a museum would be
established in Apalachicola to memorialize the contributions of people from his
hometown, wrote the tribute committee.
Individual tickets for the Humphries Tribute are available
for $35 and a ticket permits access to two events, both at the Holy Family
Senior Center, an Old-Fashioned Fish Fry at noon and the Humphries Tribute
Banquet later that evening at 6 p.m.
Every donation makes a difference, regardless of size, so
we ask that you support this special event and help our community honor its
native son, wrote the committee.
Please make checks payable to HCOLA, which is partnering in
this project, and mail to: HCOLA, P.O. Box 764, Apalachicola FL 32329. If you
need additional information, please contact a committee member.