In 1926, black historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson inaugurated an annual observance of the contributions made by Africans in America by instituting Negro History Week. For some, the extension of Black History Week to a month-long series of events each February was cause for more celebration of the tireless efforts and sacrifices of black men and women. Black history events are inclusive gatherings designed to highlight the broad spectrum of black culture in America with its roots in Africa, the cradle of civilization. All are invited – especially families.
The City of Huntsville’s Office of Multicultural Affairs seeks to support local efforts that highlight racial/ethnic cultural diversity of the city. As Multicultural Affairs Officer, I have the great privilege of experiencing the rich culture of our community on a daily basis, and there are many activities taking place as part of Black History month. Let me share just a few of them.
Movie Discussion: Selma
Saturday, February 14: Fellowship Presbyterian Church invites the public to join the Sankofa book club for a stimulating discussion of the landmark film “Selma“ beginning at 1:00 pm. On the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, the group will discuss what happened in Selma in March 1965 and draw parallels with what is happening in America in 2015 in order to gain a better understanding of what must be done in the present age to advance the cause of freedom, justice, and equality. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, www.fpchuntsville.org.
A Century of Black Life, History & Culture
Thursday, February 19: The Office of Multicultural Affairs Annual Black History Month Luncheon featuring the melodious voices of ‘8VAlution’ will be held at the University of Huntsville in Alabama at the Shelby Center, Room 301. This is the 25th year for this event, and the theme is “A Century of Black Life, History & Culture.” Tickets are $12 for the public and free to full-time students who volunteer. For more information, call 256.824.2332.
Black History Month Program & Dinner
Thursday, February 26: The Robert “Bob” Harrison Wellness & Advocacy Center will host a Black History Month celebration featuring spoken word/poetry, art, dance and music as well as guest commentators, Janette Smith, Preston Foster, David Person, Erica Fox and Kenny Anderson. A soul food menu is planned with Cajun catfish, red bean & rice, cole slaw and hush puppies. The Harrison Center is located at 6156 Pulaski Pike, and tickets are $20/person. For information and tickets, call Brenda Gurley at 256.519.2040.
Rocket City Black Rodeo
Friday, February 27 & Saturday, February 28: The Rocket City Black Rodeo returns to Huntsville for two nights at the Huntsville Agribition Center located at 4925 Moores Mill Road. The host World Professional Black Rodeo Federation is a volunteer supported, community-based organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and culture. The Rodeo honors the legacy of black cowboys, the Buffalo Soldiers and other black pioneers. Tickets are priced for advanced and at the door sale for adults and children. For information and tickets, www.wpbrf.com.
Black History in The Arts
Saturday, February 28: Productions by Danita Jones presents Praises Unto You: The First Church Inspirational Choir ‘Sings Smallwood,’ a tribute to gospel music legend Richard Smallwood. This musical extravaganza will be held at the First SDA Church located at 1303 Evangel Drive and will feature performances by the renowned Inspirational Choir with special guests Agalliasis Dance Troupe, Jeremy Kelsey and Lyndon Carriger. The event is free and the public is invited to attend this spiritually enriching production. For information, www.first-sda-church.org.
For more information about community events, check out the City of Huntsville Multicultural Affairs Facebook page or subscribe to the free weekly electronic newsletter by sending an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great month!