Tennessee Celebrates Black History Month
February is Black History Month, four weeks set aside to commemorate and celebrate the contributions black men and women have made to the United States of America. Tennessee celebrates, along with the rest of the country, with events and exhibits on display to give honor to the many African-Americans, especially the Tennesseans, who hold a place in history. Here are a few upcoming Black History Month events happening around the Volunteer state.
Take a step back in time when the struggle for civil rights was underway. Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga will display the “We Shall Not Be Moved” exhibit until Feb. 28, featuring photographs, video clips and documents of civil rights veterans as they shared their experience in the movement. The exhibit reveals the non-violent acts contributed by many Tennessee students during the Civil Rights Era like the sit-ins, where students would sit in a restaurant normally reserved for their Caucasian counterparts. The exhibit will run through April 7.
Carver Recreation Center in Johnson City, Tenn. has some events lined up for the month including a Taste of the Community Feb. 21. Attendees can sample recipes and learn about great African-Americans. Tickets are $5.
The Black History Month events at the Hermitage are underway, giving an in-depth look at the impact of slavery and the culture of the enslaved community at the Hermitage. A reception will welcome the opening of “From Slavery to Freedom: Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community”, a new exhibit. “A Celebration of Music & Culture” celebrates the African-American music and cultural traditions at 7 p.m. Feb. 7, featuring a wide variety of choral performances. Informative discussions and a wreath-laying ceremony on Feb. 23 round out the month.
Make peanut butter, listen to storytelling and learn hip hop with Onya Williams are just some of the events taking place at Nashville public libraries. Days in February are jam-packed with events that encourage learning about the African-American community through stories, dance and movies. Be sure to catch the performances of “Anansi the Spider” at the Children’s Theater in the Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville. Performed by the Wishing Chair Productions marionettes, it’s a story of a spider who tricks others to accomplish his wishes.
The Children’s Museum of Memphis will give a walk through history and celebrate African-American accomplishments during Black History Month. Authentic African songs and dances will be performed by the Vijana Choir and the Burunda Dance Troupe, as well as the Diva Time Community Premiere Steppers. Auntie Fe-Fe, CMOM’s own storyteller, will weave insightful stories. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. Feb. 9.
Take a black history vacation in Memphis by visiting some of the important and historical sites during the Civil Rights Movement like the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel where you can see the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was standing when he was assassinated. Discover the important musical history of Stax Records at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music where R&B and soul artists like Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding recorded some of America’s most popular hit songs! The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery has 60 iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement on display. Round out your vacation with a stop at Four Way Restaurant, best known for its fried green tomatoes and pork chops.
Which Black History Month events will you attend? Let me know in the comments below!