Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Black History Month Events in Kingsport

Negro History Week began in 1926, launched by Carter G. Woodson, an early scholar of African-American history. Now, nearly 90 years later as Black History month, it has become a monthlong event, celebrated each February, to recognize the accomplishments and culture of African-Americans and promote awareness of black history.

Below are some events set to take place in Kingsport and the region to commemorate this very important part of our nation’s history.

• FROM NOW UNTIL FEBRUARY 29TH: Black History Month Art Exhibits, Kingsport Renaissance Center, Atrium, 2nd Floor, Center Street, Kingsport. Event free of charge. Display featuring African-American Professionals and Business Owners from Riverview. Also, artwork displays, featuring William Menya, Ethnic Art by Mark Anthony, and others.

• THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH: The Cultural Arts Division of Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department will present jazz singer Connye Florance in concert at 7 p.m., Feb. 9 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. Tickets for “Colors of Jazz” are $12. The concert is sponsored by the Cultural Arts Division of Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Leisure Services for the city of Kingsport and Engage Kingsport. For more information or to order tickets to the concert, call (423) 392-8417 or visit

• TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH: Pro-Art Association, Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Va., and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, Va., will host two concerts by jazz vocalist L’Tanya Mari on Feb. 14. The first concert will be held at 12:15 p.m. in Phillips-Taylor Hall of MECC’s Goodloe Center. The second performance will be an evening concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths at UVA-Wise. Admission is free to both programs. For more information, call (276) 376-4520 visit

• FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH: City of Kingsport Parks and Rec Division of Community Services, in partnership with Riverview Boys & Girls Club and Riverview Residents Association presents Annual Soul Food Gathering, Friday, Feb. 17th, 4 PM to 5:30 PM, Riverview Community Center, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport. The event is free of charge. Come enjoy foods from past and present: homemade mac & cheese, collard greens, fried cracklin' bread, deer meat and rabbit, neck bones and potatoes, soup beans, chicken, sweeet potatoes and casseroles and more, with drinks and desserts. For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 429-7553 or Jessica, Riverview Boys & Girls Club, 392-2517. Everyone welcome. MM, MM Good, Fun, food & fellowship!

• SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH: "Come Get on the Bus" with New Vision Youth and Kingsport Parks & Rec, Community Services Division, Saturday, Feb. 18th, from 12 to 2 PM. Bus to Rogersville to tour the Swift-Price Museum. Pack lunch and Swift-Price will provide drinks. Everyone welcome, all ages. The event is free of charge. Contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty 429-7553 or Chassie Smiley-Freeman, 224-2420.

• SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH: New Vision Youth presents its annual Black History Program, Sunday, Feb. 19th, 4PM, St. Mark United Methodist Church, 929 Maple Street, Kingsport. Enmtertainment by various choirs, soloists & praise teams. Theme: Honoring Women of Color. Asking all women of color to attend, and be recognized. Contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 429-7553 to nominate a local woman of color. Everyone welcome!

• MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH: Help Our Potential Evolve (H.O.P.E.) will host workshops from noon to 6 p.m., Feb. 20 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center, 1200 E. Center St. Workshops to be offered include drumming, hosted by Rick Hick and Jenny Roger; an art class, hosted by Mark Anthony; African cuisine, hosted by Jerri Harrison; and face painting with the Boys and Girls Club. A Michael Jackson Wii Competition will provide first-place winners in different age groups with $100 Visa gift cards; second-place winners will receive $50 Visa gift cards. Workshops will be available for all ages, children and adults. For more information, email Stella Robinette at

• THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD: In honor of Black History Month, East Tennessee State University’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts will host Jeff Obafemi Carr at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23 at the V.A. Memorial Theatre stage in Johnson City. Carr’s one-man play, “How Blak Kin Eye Bee?” will feature Carr portraying a full cast of seven true-to-life characters who take audiences on a funny, touching and thought-provoking journey of discovering what it means to be African-American in today’s world. The 90-minute play features music, multimedia and audience participation. Tickets are $5 for students; $15 for seniors; and $20 for general admission. For more information, or to order tickets, call (423) 439-8587 or e-mail

Voices of Praise, Maryville College
• SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH: South Central Kingsport Community Development, Inc. presents 2012 COMMUNITY UNITY DAY, 5PM, at the Nancy Pridemore Little Theater, Dobyns-Bennett High School, 1200 Legion Drive, Kingsport. The event is free of charge. Entertainment: VOP (Voices of Praise) from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee; TCB (Tri-Cities Blessed); Full Gospel Mission Church #2 Choir and Praise Dancers from Greeneville;
Kingsley United Methodist Church from Kingsport; Soloist Will McClintock; Hayden Thompson from the Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kingsport performing a Gospel Mime; and Eddie Knight of Greeneville, reciting the poem "Two Halves."

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