Black History Month is under way and the roster of local events planned includes many opportunities to celebrate and learn more about the nation’s African American heritage.
- The celebration will begin tonight at East Tennessee State University with a Black Affairs Association Party hosted by ETSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. The party will begin at 10 p.m. in The Cave on the lower level of the D.P. Culp University Center and will include refreshments, dancing and music by DJ Nize. Admission is free and the public is invited.
- The annual ESTU’s Black Faculty and Staff Association banquet will be held Saturday night at in the Culp Center ballroom and will be followed by the touring African Spirituals Freedom Prayers Concert by Life as Art Productions. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. and the concert will follow in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium. Tickets are $35 and include admission to both events.
- The Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels exhibit of collectible African American art and memorabilia from 1860 to the present will be on display in Culp Center ballroom Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission in free.
- National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day activities will be held Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second level of the Culp Center. Hope for Tennessee will be on hand to provide information and free, confidential HIV testing.
- ETSU’s annual semi-formal Black History Month dance will be held Feb. 23, beginning at 10 p.m. in Culp Center ballroom. The dance is free and open to the pubic and will also include refreshments and music by DJ Nize.
- The university’s African and African American Studies Program will host a series free lectures in Sherrod Library Media Room, beginning Tuesday with “The 2012 Presidential Election: Race Relations in the 21st Century” by Dr. Daryl Carter, an assistant professor who specializes in 20th century African American history. The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The series will also include “Language and Cultural Identity in Modern Africa” by Dr. Martha Michieka on Feb. 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m.; “Writing the U.S. Constitution and the Slavery Debate” by Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee on Feb. 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m.; and “Men of the African Diaspora: Their Service in the British Royal Navy to End the Slave Trade, 1808-1861,” by Dr. John Rankin on Feb. 27, beginning at 6 p.m.
- On Thursday, the Jonesborough Heritage Alliance will present a free lecture by Dr. Thomas R. Peake on the history of Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Jonesborough Visitors Center. Peak is Professor Emeritus at King College and the author of “Keeping the Dream Alive: A History of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from King to the 1980s.”
- On Feb. 16, the Johnson City Washington County NAACP will host a First Ladies Breakfast and program to honor the wives of Johnson City and Jonesborough area ministers for their service as First Ladies of their churches. The breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. at New Zion Faith Center located at 1904 Jamestown Road. Tonya Foreman, a Kingsport church leader, will be the guest speaker and will discuss the role women played in the civil rights and equality movements. Admission is $10. Wives of area pastors will be admitted by invitations which may be obtained by contacting Ralph Davis at 426-2851.
- Black History Month activities at Carver Recreation Center will begin with Youth Presidents program to be held Feb. 18 beginning at 4 p.m. Carver youth will make brief presentations on the 11 most recent U.S, presidents and install their photographs on the wall of the recreation center.
Carver’s annual Taste of the Community will be held Feb. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include a dinner will traditional ethnic dishes and program honoring area veterans. The program is free and the dinner is $5. Proceeds will help provide a summer field trip for Carver youth to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta.
A benefit sidewalk sale to help with the field trip will be held at the recreation center Feb. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendor spaces are $10 and include a 6-foot table and two chairs. Vendors slots may be reserved by calling 461-8830.