Meet two of Macon’s history makers

Special to The TelegraphDecember 6, 2013 

There are many people from Macon who have become notable around the nation and across the seas. So often, we have to be motivated by researching our history to share with others who have the power to influence. For example, educators and politicians use textbooks, journals and multimedia references to motivate our citizens and youth.

However, if we take the time to research history and document it, we can submit this precious information to book publishers, genealogy departments and media outlets to help make their sources of information more diverse and representative of the people who reside in America.

Growing up learning from a curriculum that includes information about your culture centered around the subject matter can help motivate the learning process.

I would like to take a moment to focus on two black women from Macon who made significant impacts in the music industry. Lucille Nelson Hegamin was born way back in November 1894. After travelling the nation entertaining as a teenager, she made Chicago her home and became known as “Georgia Peach.”

She was the second woman of African-American heritage to record in America and worked with some of the greats, such as Jelly Roll Morton. Not only was she a vocalist and performer, she was a recording artist. One of her best known songs is “Arkansas Blues.” This was in the early 1920s. Those are the days when we especially think of all the odds being against blacks in America.

Claudine Clark is the second woman, and she was born in April 1941. Her talents included singing and composing R&B music. Clark was also a recording artist who took two runs in the industry. As Claudine Clark, she had a song called “Party Lights” in 1962 that ranked No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. During her second go around, she was known as Joy Dawn and recorded under a different record label.

Macon natives of all kinds have made major moves all around the world. Although many of the accomplishments have been shadowed away in the dark, we can definitely bring them to the light. It will just take plenty of team work.

Yolanda “Y-O” Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts, Macon’s representative on the Knight National Arts Advisory Board and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency. She can be contacted at

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