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Taji Braxton, 6, of Fulton lights a candle with the help of her grandmother Carmen Brandt Saturday during the first Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award Program and Celia Commemoration at Backer Dining Hall. Brandt sits on the Fulton Human Rights Commission and was an organizer of the event, which brings the community together to commemorate Celia, a southern Callaway County slave who was hanged for murdering her sexually abusive master. This year was the first time the commission gave the Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The recipient of the honor was Nancy McCue of Fulton.

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Callaway group reflects on social progress during Celia Commemoration

Since the hanging of Celia — a southern Callaway County slave — in 1855, community members pondered how much social advancement has taken place in 159 years during the annual Celia Commemoration on Saturday.

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