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Celia event to focus on contemporary racism

For the past six years, Fulton State Hospital’s Cultural Competence Council has marked the anniversary of the death of Celia, a Fulton slave who was executed after being convicted of the murder of her owner.

This year, that commemoration will have a slightly different tone.

“We’ve had the history of Celia and the story of Celia be the focus. We feel at this point that story has been told, in-depth, and we wanted to add to it,” said Heather Phelps, chair of the Cultural Competence Council.

Phelps said the focus of the seventh-annual Celia Commemoration — which starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fulton City Hall — will “be more contemporary ... on how racism shows its face today.”

The guest speaker for the event will be Larry Brown, a professor of cultural geography at the University of Missouri and a Callaway County resident.

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