Last week, a ceremony was held at the Ewell/Gantz Playground in honor of the mural commemorating Barney Ewell and Ida Gantz.
African American Gold Medalist, Barney Ewell, was the winner of one gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He was born into poverty in Harrisburg and went on to become one of the world's leading sprinters. Mr. Ewell attended JP McCaskey High School and served in WWII from 1941 to 1945. After returning home, he attended college and received his B.S. degree. His childhood home was located on the site of the Ewell Gantz Playground.
Ida Gantz was instrumental in the formation of Head Start in Lancaster, as well as other childcare initiatives. She was active in the community and a lifelong member of the Bethel AME Church, founding member of the Southeast Area Council, member of the NAACP, member of Queen of Sheba Temple, and auxiliary of the Conestoga Lodge of Elks. Until her death she helped to maintain the park and provide a safe environment to children in the neighborhood.
Both Barney and Ida serve as excellent role models for children in the City, and the mural was a great way to for students to learn about these two respected community members. Tamea Allen and Kimberly Delgado, two students from the Mix at Arbor Place, located right next to the playground and mural, were inspired by the mural to write a poem, which they recited at the mural dedication. Read on for their poem.
She was what I want to be and what I hope to see.
A miracle seed, planted not far from the children’s tree.
A leader, that didn’t worry about skin color, or looks, instead she focused and stayed reading her books.
As this seed continues to grow and miracles begin the show, I WILL be the reason because this IS the season for change.
Not to sound strange, but it’s time I rearrange the way youth minds are set up now a days.
It’s time to prepare, not for a test, but for something called success. Look not to the sky, but past it there is no limit nor an amount of minutes that you have to wait for the opportunities sitting on your plate.
I hear a voice at the starting line saying… “There is no time for hesitating.”
Negativity is the perception describing a child of color.
There are children in a track met every day, racing for the gold medal until all of a sudden we hear people say “there is no way.”
We’re here to let you know that even if it snows, this marathon is still going on.
We’re running and running, striving and thriving for a change that can definitely be made with the power we hold and the things we’ve been told.
Youth depression, youth drug dealers, youth parent lost, youth gang members and youth suicide and wait, did I forget to motion the taking away of our pride? Are all things that youth go through with their parents asking what, when, where who and why trying not to let us see them cry.
Doubted, let down, shot, stabbed and beat are just a few as to while youth often take a seat.
Tripping, stumbling and then we fall, not from heat but from the discourage that is placed at our feet.
I won the gold medal, it’s now in my hands and as long as I stand negativity WILL NOT be the perception describing this child of color.