The city has scheduled events to honor one of its most notable residents to educate youth about black history in America and to highlight what life in Woodstock was like before integration.
A high tea will be conducted in honor of the late Magnolia Thomas at the downtown Woodstock restaurant that bears her name. The event at 3 p.m. on Feb. 6 is sold out.
The event will give people an opportunity to talk about a person who had an impact on Woodstock, said Billy Peppers, the city's director of economic development services and executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.
"It seemed like a good fit to look at her as a historical figure," said Peppers, who is coordinating the gathering with Genevieve Georges, a member of the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
At the tea, a partnership between Tea Leaves and Thyme and Magnolia Thomas Restaurant, guests will learn more about Ms. Thomas.
Ms. Thomas was born in 1890 in Canton. She moved to Woodstock at a young age to a house on what's now Arnold Mill Road. The house, where Mrs. Thomas lived from about 1915 until her death at the age of 98 in the 1980s, later was bought by the city government.
"Miss Magnolia," as her students knew her, was a graduate of Spelman College. She was a beloved school teacher for African-American students during segregation, when black students were taught in separate schools from the white children in the city.
Area youth also will be targeted with a "Black History: Past, Present and Future" program as part of the series.
The program is from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Woodstock Community Center. Grade-school children are invited to the free program that give them a brief lesson about the history of African-Americans in the United States.
The children also will have the opportunity to talk about the impact African-Americans are having on present-day American.
Then, Mrs. Georges said, the conversation will shift toward how the children "will set their sites on to being part of the future," she said.
Longtime Woodstock residents will be the featured guests at a "Back in the Day" celebration. They will talk about what life was like in Woodstock before integration.
The free celebration, which also will include food and entertainment, is from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Woodstock Community Center.
Allen Temple AME Church in Woodstock will present a special Black History Month worship service for the community from 8 to 11 a.m. on Feb. 28.
Ms. Georges said the idea for the event series came to her after visiting Roswell's celebration, which originated in its Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Ms. Georges introduced the idea to Woodstock's advisory board, and the members supported it. She also approached Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques, whom she said also supported her vision.
Henriques said he hopes people will walk away from the tea honoring Ms. Thomas with a feeling of "pride" that "we had such a pioneer living in our town."
"We had a hero of our own," he said.
Ms. Georges, who said her goal is for the celebration to become an annual event, said she hopes many people come out and celebrate the African-American community's contributions to Woodstock and Cherokee County.
"It's rich in [African-American] history," she said. "There have been numerous African-Americans who've contributed to the history... of the community."