Daughters of Sarah hosts annual Black History Month program

By Madison Shann
Posted 2/28/24

In an event filled with vibrant performances, delicious food and diverse community, Daughters of Sarah hosted their annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 24 at the First …

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Daughters of Sarah hosts annual Black History Month program


In an event filled with vibrant performances, delicious food and diverse community, Daughters of Sarah hosted their annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 24 at the First Presbyterian Fellowship Hall in Marlboro.

The event showcased performances from the Voices of Unity SUNY New Paltz Choir, Pentecostal Holy Joy Church Praise Dancers, a musical band and special guest speakers from West Point Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

The celebration provided an integrated space for persons to come learn about Black history, maintain community and enjoy a Southern meal of fried chicken, BBQ chicken, collard greens, mac n cheese, potato salad, cornbread and desserts.

“This event is to invite people who would like to come for dinner and some entertainment to explain to them the wonderful contributions of African Americans to American society with their food, music, artwork, books, autobiographies of famous civil rights leaders and just to give people a safe space to talk about race,” said Barbara Krulikowski, DOS (Daughters of Sarah) member. “It’s a very positive atmosphere and we accept everyone, no one is turned away for any reason.”

Founded in 1989, Daughters of Sarah grew from a vision that Ruth Faircloth had, alongside her mother. While working for the non-profit organization, Rural Migrant Ministry, Faircloth went to the then director, Gail Mulligan, with her idea for the group and was assisted by Mulligan to bring her vision to life. Daughters of Sarah is a support group for all women to share their struggles, be heard, seek communal wisdom, and feel empowered. The group provides a safe place for women to come home to, especially in the rural area, with its strong focus on unity and community. Their slogan is “Reaching out in Understanding.”

“Thousands of women have come through this group. We call it the Underground Railroad,” said Faircloth, “A lot of the ladies in Daughters of Sarah are professional women that don’t have to come back and be a part of this. I’m talking about social workers, nurses, managers of homes, principals, I could just continue to name them. They have realized who they were and may have moved on but never forget where they came from, and I think that’s the whole dream and vision of Daughters of Sarah.”

“We’re about community. We’re about being there in every way possible that we can so if someone needs something small or big, we’re there. If we get a call where someone says, ‘Oh I just need a ride’, we’re there. If someone needs food, we’re there. So we’re mostly about community but we’re also about education. That’s why we do programs like this,” said Mona Whitaker, DOS member.

According to Faircloth, the organization’s name, Daughters of Sarah, came from the Bible in reference to Abraham and Sarah. Faircloth named the group after Sarah because she thought she best described a rural or migrant woman.

“When her husband said ‘let’s go,’ Sarah followed and got on the bus. Back in those days, if a man told a woman they had to lie about something to get them out of trouble, she lied. If she had to make preparation for her husband to have the dream that God said they would have, she made preparations, she made it her own way, but she did it. Sarah is a woman that went through it all but yet still stands,” said Faircloth.

The Black History Month Celebration was hosted to encourage the education of Black history and empowerment in the rural community of Marlboro.

“Tonight’s goal is about educating people, especially in the rural area, in this area. I grew up here, I went to school here, so I know first-hand that this education is not being taught in the schools in the communities and you don’t see a lot of this going on in small rural towns like Marlboro and Highland. It takes everyone to make a community,” said Whitaker.

The event showed educational videos that highlighted the inventions of Black Americans that shape how we operate and use appliances in our daily lives, such as Sarah Boone for her improvements to the ironing board and Garrett Morgan for his invention of the three-light traffic signal. The event also highlighted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech for being one of the most influential speeches in American history.

One performance from the Voices of Unity from SUNY New Paltz included the song, “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, which honors the life and work of the African-American abolitionist and social activist, Harriet Tubman, who rescued enslaved people through the Underground Railroad.

“I was really excited about coming because Black History Month is something that should always be celebrated and for us having the opportunity to come out and perform, it was exciting. Nervous at first but definitely very exciting and the reception that we received was amazing and we’re just so glad to be a part of it,” said Esther Val, member of the Voices of Unity from SUNY New Paltz and also faculty member.

As all of the organization’s funding is through donations, companies such as ShopRite, Adam’s and Tops donated the ingredients for the food that the members of the DOS prepared for the event.

The admission fee for the event goes toward the organization’s woman’s retreat and educational conference in June to fund underprivileged women who may not be able to afford the weekend getaway.

“In June, we will be having a women’s retreat bringing all groups of women together to share a weekend of pain, laughter, loving each other and for those needing a friend,” said Faircloth. “When a woman is able to share her inner hurt starting from a little child all the way up ’til she becomes a woman, she becomes stronger and empowers herself.”

On April 20, the organization will also be having a ladies’ tea party, which encourages women to get dressed up and engage in a traditional tea party scene, while listening to other women speak to them about the power of who they are and what they can do.