With February coming to a close, Radford Mayor David Horton has finished his daily posts highlighting Radford’s Black History, but he says he hopes to continue to post historical vignettes and highlight citizens on his personal Facebook page.
His last batch of daily posts include small business owners, a coach and a brief history of the Fred Wygal School.
“Friday, Feb. 26, 2021:
“One of the things we have wanted to express with #radfordblackhistory posts is that while there is much in the past that is worthy of recognition, there is history being made every day and that there are people in our community doing wonderful things.
“Michael Wyms is one of those guys who has a great history in our fair city, but is also making change and leading every day.
“For 22 years his shop, Cut Nice, in downtown Radford has been an institution. Somewhere in the range of 75,000-100,000 haircuts have taken place during that time, but even more importantly, conversations and good fellowship have happened there.
“Mike makes his place of business a welcoming spot for people to learn and grow. He helps young men find the best way to present themselves for confidence and success.
“He gives back to Radford. He comes to the Radford University campus one day each year, and all the proceeds go to Saint Baldrick’s Cancer Research. Cut Nice is a sponsor of the Radford Rattlers baseball team. They are great supporters of the Dana Palmer Scholarship foundation.
So much that goes on in our schools is supported and sponsored by Cut Nice.
“Mike is also very active in his church and helps as a musician for other events and worship ceremonies.
“Mike is a voice in our community, helping us see where we can be better and where we do well. He has worked with various groups and causes, most recently with the grass roots Radical Change Commission. He cares about today and tomorrow for the citizens of Radford, and he puts his time and energy into making our home the best it can be.
“During the pandemic, he explored the state of the art for safety for his staff and his clients so that people could utilize his services and know they would be okay.
“People from around the region travel to Downtown Radford to have Mike and his team take care of them. It is so much more than a barber shop, but it is also a great barber shop right here on our Main Street. His work had been recognized by the Radford Chamber of Commerce and the Radford City Council.
“A leader in business, faith, and community. Radford is lucky to have Michael Wyms.
“Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021:
#radfordblackhistory has been such a wonderful collection of stories of people who have made Radford a fantastic place to live and who represent the city to other communities all over the country and the world.
“One of the great elements of this experience has been to share the story of not just individuals but entire families. A sense of service and leadership is imbued in the DNA of many Radford families and that is true of the Nichols family.
“Shane Nichols has proven to be a leader in the world of basketball and in every community in which he has lived.
“After a stellar career as a Bobcat, he matriculated to St. Peter’s and then Wofford where he was a star setting many high marks for his school and the conference especially from downtown as he was a master of the three point shot!
“Excitement on the court, a leader among his teammates, and a role model for his fans, Coach Nichols is known for having an eye for talent and being able to develop his players on and off the court to help them be their best.
“Following stints as a coach for Niagara and Hofstra, he has spent the last six seasons with Murray State University as an assistant coach. The school touts that “He has been a part one of the greatest periods of program history that includes three-straight OVC regular season championships (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20) and two OVC Tournament titles (2017-18, 2018-19).
“In the last three seasons, the Racers are a combined 77-20 (.777) overall and 47-7 (.870) in OVC games and at home, they are 44-3 (.933) in the CFSB Center.”
“This story that talks about the Nichols family really sums up their legacy of leadership https://thenews.org/2018/09/18/meet-the-nichols-a-coaching-family/
“Coach Shane Nichols is a wonderful ambassador for Radford!
“Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021:
“Today in #radfordblackhistory we are proud to celebrate an entrepreneur, an artist, a poet and author, a designer and engineer, a storyteller. Antwian Marcel Crawford is all these things and a great friend to so many in Radford.
“As founder of Social Media Guru, he has helped people share their stories and find creative “ways to define what they do online.
To name just a few places where he has created a presence he is:
- Creator/Admin of RHS Alumni page
- Creator/Admin of RHS Alumni group
- Creator/Admin of Dana Palmer Memorial page
- Creator/Admin of The Underground Poet’s Society, Inc. page
- Creator/Admin of The Underground Poet’s Society, Inc. group
- Creator/Admin of Cut Nice Barbershop page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Business, Youtube & Yelp
- Creator/Admin of I Love Old School Soul Music
- Creator/Admin of I Love Old School Hip-Hop
- Creator/Admin Social Media Guru, LLC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Business, Youtube, Yelp & Bark.
“He stays busy offline as well as a poet and author. More than two decades ago he founded the Underground Poet’s Society.
“In addition he has worked as an engineer and designer for several firms around the nation.
Storytellers help shine a spotlight on those who should be recognized. Antwian has spent decades helping the world learn more about outstanding people in our fair city and beyond.
“Sunday, February 28, 2021
“There is so much wonderful #radfordblackhistory to share, we wanted to have some additional profile posts today.
“We have highlighted several African American owned and operated businesses this past month and there is another shop and person who I would like to feature: Shear Mellegance Salon and Sharmelle Turner-Bobo.
“For the last seven years, this salon has been a staple of East Main Street with friendly faces and a popular and welcoming environment. This didn’t happen easily or overnight. Sharmelle worked in many salons around the NRV after attending Charmar Academy where she became a licensed hairdresser.
“As a Radford native and Bobcat from the Class of 1992, she knew she would love to have her own place in her hometown, and in 2014 when that dream became a reality, it included all the best elements of what she had learned over the previous 18 years of experience.
“Sharmelle has always made the Bobcat Nation proud as her RHS experience included singing in the choir and as an athlete on the basketball and track teams.
“She and her husband Anthony are excited to be a part of the future of Radford not only with the family business, but also with family, as their daughter, born in 2011 is looking forward to her time on the hill as a Bobcat.
“Family is a priority for Sharmelle, and you are likely to be greeted by her family at the salon. Clients feel more like family as she and her team help them look their best and experiment with fun new styles.
“She is also devoted to her church family at First Baptist on Rock Road and is an active parishioner.
“We are glad that Sharmelle is a key part of our Main Street Community!
“Monday, March 1:
“Today in #radfordblackhistory we wanted to continue to share stories from Radford. Our story for March 1, as our Radford Schools are able to be back 100% in person today, is about Fred Wygal School, for decades, the elementary education location for Radford black families.
“First, I am happy to share a link to the story published last April by Glencoe Mansion, about schools in Radford. https://www.facebook.com/164019760295858/photos/a.164028293628338/3158452977519173/
“To add to that, I would include a couple of pictures including one of William Manning and George Mills who served as Principal and Assistant Principal.
“Mr. Mills was my fifth-grade teacher at Belle Heth, as he continued with Radford City Public Schools long after Fred Wygal School had closed. Many great memories.
“This school was a product of a combination of many things. First was segregation, as Radford had a number of African-American schools separate from the schools for white children. Most were not really outstanding structures,and Fred Wygal, who served as superintendent from 1939-1942 helped make this new, better, consolidated building possible.
“Second, Radford worked to have a school in every neighborhood. Belle Heth in East Radford, McHarg in Central Radford, and Kuhn Barnett in West End Radford. Fred Wygal Elementary was on Wadsworth Street near Rock Road in the heart of one of Radford’s historically black neighborhoods.
“Radford Schools integrated after the 1966 school year and this school was closed.
“The building is in use today as School Administration Offices and has been since 1967.
“As always, I am merely sharing what I know, but the comments from people who lived the history and recall the times here are always the most wonderful.
“Thank you to the amazing Sarah Carter for the picture of Mr. Manning and Mr. Mills.