(Featured image is of the Tuskegee University Golden Voices Concert Choir)
Multiple Black History Month programs are scheduled across the area during February. Here are just a few highlights:
An African-American Read-In will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the Roscoe Williams Ballroom of the Augusta University Jaguar Student Activities Center. Volunteers will read selections written by Black writers and Latria Graham, a creative nonfiction writer will be the keynote speaker at noon. The event is in partnership with the Faculty Inclusive Excellence Initiative’s Visiting Scholars Program and the Department of English and World Languages.
Acclaimed musician Wycliffe Gordon takes stage:
Led by Wycliffe Gordon, Augusta University Jazz and Friends will present Smokestack Lighting, a concert and film event at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at Augusta University’s Maxwell Theatre. Gordon composed the music for the film Smokestack Lighting, A Day in the Life of Barbeque.
This is a historic documentary based on a book written about the barbecue culture in different regions of the U.S., according to a news release from Augusta University.
“Composing the music for the documentary was incredible. It was a fun project,” Gordon said. “And one of the best things about the recording sessions right here in Augusta was we were in the studio for a week, and we ate from a different local barbecue place every day to help with the process. The band was just watching the film and we’d say, ‘Hey, let’s try this type of barbecue today.’”
Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for Augusta University students, faculty and staff with a valid JagCard.
Tuskegee University Choir
Kigwana Cherry presents his Greater Augusta Arts Council artist project “Sing Them as You Have Sung Them Here” feat. Op n Blk and the world-renowned Tuskegee University “Golden Voices” Concert Choir at 4 p.m. Saturday at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1454 Florence St.
“This event is an opportunity to celebrate Black Opera and Black excellence, and it will have a positive impact on the community,” said Cherry in a news release.
The concert is free thanks to a Greater Augusta Arts Council Project Grant and the support from donors community.
Down By The River book talk
Local author Travis Holloway began researching Augusta’s African American history after an inspiring high school history class. In 1999, he began publishing Heritage, a newsletter exploring Augusta’s African American history and his first book Down by the River, is a culmination of his many years of dedicated research.
He will give a book talk at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Augusta Public Library’s Georgia Room, Telfair Street.
POW! People of Wonder Exhibition
A free tour of the POW! People of Wonder Exhibition, featuring prints from the Golden Blocks Legends Comic series’ development, illustrated by local artists Art the Artist and A’Shaela Abdon, alongside historic images from the Mayoral Collection of Black History in the City Gallery.
Historian Corey Rogers with the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Augusta University Professors and members of the Golden Blocks Legends team will lead the tour from 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the City Gallery in the lobby of the Augusta Richmond County Municipal Building at 535 Telfair St.
The exhibition will be on display through March 1.
Donald Sweeper portrays Richard Greener
Donald Sweeper brings to life professor Richard T. Greener, the first African American to graduate from Harvard University and the first African American faculty member to teach at the University of South Carolina during Reconstruction from 1873-1877.
“At the University of South Carolina, Greener reorganized and cataloged the library holdings which were in disarray after the Civil War. In character as Richard Greener, Sweeper will dramatize the frustration and disappointment Greener experienced when Wade Hampton became governor and closed the university in 1877 to rid the school of blacks only to reopen in 1880 as an all-white institution,” according to a news release from Nancy Carson Library.
Greener then became Dean of the Howard University Law School in the District of Columbia.
The reenactment will be at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 28 at the Nancy Carson Library, 135 Edgefield Rd. in North Augusta. It is 35 minutes long and will be followed by a brief question and answer session from the audience.