Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
02/29/16: C. V. Veal Honored By Chapel Hill Baptist Church

C. V. Veal Honored By Chapel Hill Baptist Church

Poneer bluesman cited during Black History Month


CLARKSDALE - A litany of famous African American heroes who "paved the way for others" was recited Sunday at Chapel Baptist Church in a finale of Black History Month 2016.


Although the list started with Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Jimmy Wiley, well-known historian and former academic dean at Coahoma Community College, included many others in different fields.


"When we look back, blues people have been known as the best storytellers," he said.


"But what about those who have not made their mark (and become famous) but have stayed here always on the go in service to the Lord? he asked.


A hush fell over the crowded sanctuary as Dr. Wiley began describing familiar attributes of Chapel Hill choir member C. V. Veal.


Veal whose usual 1,000-watt smile can normally light up a basketball court, appeared stricken and mute.


Gradually he was assisted down from the choir section into a throne-style chair dead center of the pulpit.


As family, church, and community representatives began citing his accomplishments as a pioneer blues musician who traveled internationally and was at ease among celebrities, as a role model for younger generations, and as a true friend to many, Veal began to recover his famous smile.


Presented an impressive engraved plaque, a trip to the Civil Rights Museum, and a big league baseball game, Veal thanked the crowd and said his mother once told him: "Smile and everyone will smile back."

C. V. Holding Award

C. V. Veal shows off the impressive engraved plaque presented to him Sunday at Chapel Hill Baptist Church.

C.V. Behind Microphone

C.V. recovers his famous smile as he thanks members of Chapel Hill Baptist Church during his recognition in Black History Month.

Photos by Panny Mayfield

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