Tell me the whole story. This is the goal, as the National Trust will award $ 3 million to sites that are essential to black history.
One of the places that has existed since the early 1900s is now aiming to regain a very special room.
The story is that in the olden days of Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah, Kentucky, there was a slice of pie for a man playing the guitar on the porch and a slice of pie waiting for guests in the room upstairs.
“Food played an important role in hotels, and food is the way most blacks express love,” said Betty Dobson, who runs the hotel today.
Dobson said there was something to know about who was offered slices of those pies.
“Oh, did you want to talk about that pie?” She smiled.
Man on the balcony? That was BB King. Guest in the room upstairs? It was a number of musicians who were so famous that their faces were painted on murals across the country. They were acting like Ike & Tina Turner, Chuck Berry and Moms Mabury.
“Cabb Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday,” Dobson listed. “Because these famous souls were here, coming through these doors still excites me.”
Dobson tells us that the key to the story of the Hotel Metropolitan is the unpretentious little building behind it.
“Purple room,” she said, unlocking the door to a two-room building with earthen floors.
Before the gig in Paducah, this was a space where acting was rehearsed. In other words, I was able to enter this small neighborhood for free and hear the voice of a great man in the front porch.
“The people were dancing!” Dobson laughed. “It sounded like Mardi Gras. It tells me what I enjoyed here.”
Dobson remembers her work in the room.
“If your suit needs a press, I can take care of you here at the hotel,” Dobson went on to show the old suit presser in the purple room.
According to Dobson, hotel pressers and hairdressers were inevitably born.
In the 1940 edition of the Green Book, an on-the-road guide for black travelers to find a safe place, only two hotels were listed in Paducah. Dobson shared that it was the era of Jim Crow Law and that the Purple Room had to be here as a rehearsal space.
“The venue was pure white,” she explained. “Black entertainers couldn’t stand being there in the daytime. When they got here, they could see that compassion, mostly owned by women. Enter, baby. It was hard. I think I did it here. I’ll go upstairs, lie down, rest a bit, and plan for tomorrow. “
Dobson said something had just come in to help her talk about the people who stayed in these rooms.
The National Trust has awarded $ 3 million to 40 different sites important to black history, including the Column House in Cleveland, Ohio, the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Salarector Mansion in Kansas City, Missouri. The building behind the Hotel Metropolitan.
Dobson wants to use the money to restore the purple room and make it a space to meet again.
“Whether I’m here or not, my dream is to make the whole story of the Hotel Metropolitan,” she said.
National Trust gives $3 million to sites linked to Black history Source link National Trust gives $3 million to sites linked to Black history