On Sunday, the 66th annual Black History Month program will take place at Collins Chapel CME Church Sunday afternoon.

The event started while Hattye Yarbrough was a teacher at Frazier School.

“I asked the principal there if we could do something to celebrate what was then Black History Week,” she said. “And we’re still doing it.”


Now 98, the local historian and former educator is still involved in the organization of Collins Chapel’s annual event.

Julian Anderson McTizic Sr., mayor of Bolivar, will be this year’s guest speaker.

When McTizic was sworn in in 2017, he was the youngest and first African-American mayor in Bolivar’s history. Prior to that, he served as city councilman for four years.

McTizic is a member of the Bolivar Rotary Club, Bolivar General Hospital Healthcare Foundation, the NAACP and the Joint Economic and Community Development Board and a member of the executive board of Southwest Tennessee Development District.

He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Certified Economic Development class, Hardeman County Leadership program and a 2018 graduate of WestStar. McTizic is the CEO of Legacy Financial Group and a member of the National Association of Insurers and Financial Advisors.

He is also a recipient of the African-American Emerging Leader Award, the Tennessee State NAACP Race Relations Trailblazer Award and the 2018 Rising Phoenix Award.

His focus since becoming mayor has been transparency in government and putting citizens first. Every city council meeting in Bolivar is now live streamed via social media and he also has community policing, Spotlight on Business and Meet Your Neighbor programs.

Though he’s passionate about local politics, his favorite pastime is making memories with Demetria, his wife of 10 years, and their sons Julian Jr., Jamison, Jaxton and newborn Jules. His love for his family and people, in general, is what drives him to bring positive change to his community.

The Black History Month program will begin at 3 p.m. Collins Chapel is located at 303 W. Ripley Avenue in Covington.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.