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Social and Civic Whirl

Social and Civic Whirl: The Episcopal Church Women of Grace Episcopal Church Host ‘Hidden Figures’ Series

The Episcopal Church Women of Grace Episcopal Church decided to honor women, who are “Hidden Figures,” in their congregation. Maria Herbert welcomed those present and led the congregants in prayer. This was followed by Angela King who gave the blessing and who gave the closing acknowledgements and announcements. After the blessing, the guests were invited to partake of coffee, juice, delicious breakfast sandwiches and fruit. While some were still eating, Ruth Rose Introduced the “Hidden Figure” – Becky Livas.

Becky, a 1961 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and an alumnus of Hampton University shared her professional journey with the group. This Educator, Entertainer, TV Anchor and Reporter was the First African-American Female News Reporter in the region. Becky was also producer/host of TV shows, in the 1970s, at WTAR-TV. In the 1980s Livas, after a singing stint, in Las Vegas, created, produced and hosted WHRO-WHRV-FM show Jazz Excursion. During her presentation, Livas gave props to local radio and TV personalities, including Eric Rogers, who helped her along the way.

This talented, versatile lady’s vocal talent enabled her, out of 300 applicants, to audition and become a 1997 Eugene O,Neil Cabaret Fellow who was coached by such notables as Margaret Whiting, Julie Wilson, Julie Halston, Carol Hall and Max Showalter; and musical directors Paul Trueblood, Tex Arnold and Christopher Denny. As a result of her training, Becky formed several musical groups that have performed in Hampton Roads, New York and Boston.

In addition to her television and cabaret experiences Becky Livas told about her education experience teaching middle school students World History and Geography. Becky told the group to remind the young people that “They Can Do It.” Be Successful! She retired from teaching in 2013; however, Becky is still enchanting audiences with her vocal talent. The program closed with the Episcopal Church Women’s Prayer.

A special thanks to the Breakfast Committee who put together this “Hidden Figures” Series. The committee members consisted of Ann Allen, Patricia Edwards Bridget Flemming, Maria Herbert, Angela King, Rosalyn Neal, Doris Parrish, Ruth Rose, Ernestine Swain and Helen Sharp-Williams. It is always good to know about the “Hidden Figures” in our community. I am sure that we have many more firsts or “Hidden Figures.” Share this kind of information with the community especially our youth!

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