African American heritage celebrated in Springfield

Annual flag raising ceremony held at City Hall

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The African American Heritage flag raising ceremony was held at City Hall in Springfield Friday morning.

Mayor Domenic Sarno was joined by State Rep. Bud Williams (D-Springfield) and city councilors for the event which began with Springfield’s legendary civil rights icon Ruth Loving 31 years ago. She died in 2012 at the age of 97.

Prior to the raising of the African American Heritage Flag, hundreds participated at City Hall in a stirring salute to Black History Month. Also present were members of the Peter Brace Brigade- a group that pays tribute to African-American soldiers from the Springfield area who fought in the Civil War.

Springfield resident Ronald Brace is a descendant of Peter Brace, founder of the Massachusetts African American Brigade that fought in the Civil War. “We’ve got to talk about it, pass it on to our children,” he said. “It should be taught in the schools in Springfield.”