Where to Celebrate Black History Month in East Tennessee


Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – National Black History Month takes place in the month of February, and across East Tennessee, several events are planned to honor history and culture as well as educate others.

Here’s where you can honor and celebrate Black History Month in the greater Knoxville and East Tennessee area:

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley: 7th Annual Black History Month Art Contest: In late January, Boys & Girls Clubs and local UScellular leaders chose 10 finalists for the annual art competition based on their creativity, quality, interpretation, clarity of theme, and overall impression of their work. The works of the finalists will then be displayed digitally in select stores February 1-28. Meanwhile, 18+ can vote for their favorite work in line. The three artists with the most votes will be announced in March and will receive prizes including $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third.

New Electronic Resource for Black History Research at the Knox County Public Library: The African American Historical Series Collection is now available through Knox County Library. Officials say the database contains a full-text archive of periodicals that document the history of African-American religious life and culture between 1829 and 1922. Major sources include newspapers and magazines, as well as reports and directories of African American religious organizations, including churches and social services. agencies. You can find the collection in Historical newspapers. You will need a Knox County Library account to search for the series.

the African American Historical Series Collection is the result of more than 10 years of organizing and collecting fragmentary, widely dispersed and endangered materials. The collection documents much of the rich history of African American religious life and organizations, including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Zion African Methodist Church, and numerous Baptist churches.

17th Annual Black Issues Conference, Saturday, February 5: The Office of Multicultural Student Life, in conjunction with the UTK Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is hosting the 17th Annual Black Issues Conference. The Black Issues Conference is a one-day conference that provides a forum for students, faculty and staff, and community members to discuss issues that impact the African American community.

Bingo! For Black History Month, Saturday, February 5: The Green McAdoo Cultural Center kicks off its Black History Month event with Bingo! All ages are welcome and it will be free to play. Ten games, with 10 prizes. The event will take place on February 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Green McAdoo Gym.

Lecture Series: Stories of Black Life and Music in Appalachia, Tuesday, February 8: Birthplace of Country Music Museum features Dr. William H. Turner and Dr. Ted Olson for music talks, including the Sepia Tones podcast and Turner’s book The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life In Appalachian Coal Towns, taking audiences beyond the assumptions and stereotypes about this region for a deeper and richer understanding of its history. For more information: https://birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/event/speaker-series-histories-of-black-life-and-music-in-appalachia/?fbclid=IwAR0DBRww9ZD3lbBXulpgJtrsutU13cymHaRlc3CZcGOZOil_XCiJzzuNY0IOil_XCiJzzuNY0I

UTK Frederick Douglass Day, February 10 + February 14: On February 14, 2022, thousands of people will celebrate Douglass Day. The event marks Frederick Douglass’ chosen birthday by inviting members of the public to join an online crowdsourcing project and celebrating black history. It’s a way to celebrate Black History Month with a digital twist.

The first event of UTK’s Frederick Douglass Day is a plenary lecture by Professor Gabrielle Foreman titled “Frederick Douglass and the Politics of Trust: Black Organizing, Black Wealth, and the Failure of the Bank of freed”, the Thursday, February 10, 3:30 p.m. at Student Union 270 or via Zoom. Please join in the celebration of UTK Frederick Douglass Day by signing up at https://english.utk.edu/events/fdd.php. The Celebration and Transcribe-a-thon is underway Monday February 14, 2022, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. We’ll start at 12:00pm by joining the National Douglass Day live stream for a preview of the FDD program and speakers on Douglass and the Colored Conventions project. For more information, please contact Katy Chiles at [email protected]

Pellissippi State Community College hosts several Black History Month events

Pellissippi State Community College officials invite the public to join its events on campus and online throughout National Black History Month:

Thursday February 3
7 p.m.
Keith Brown in concert: Clayton Performing Arts Center Born in Memphis, raised in Knoxville and based in New York, Keith Brown is one of the most sought-after pianists on the contemporary jazz scene. Since he started playing jazz at the age of 18, Brown has performed and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz luminaries. Brown continues to draw inspiration from his roots in R&B, funk, classical, jazz and hip-hop and is constantly exploring new ways to incorporate these influences.
February 6-20 Screening of the film “The Color Purple”: In conjunction with the MLK Committee’s Paint and Sip event, SEAL is hosting the streaming of “The Color Purple.” This classic will be the talking point as we paint a scene from the movie and sip hot chocolate, tea or apple cider. Stream this classic your way and join the paint party at any campus in Pellissippi State. Streaming information to come.
Monday, February 7
7 p.m.
Trip to Alex Haley’s Farm: Strawberry Plains Campus – Join us for a tour of the farm once owned by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley. The facility connects young leaders and activists to the glorious legacy of the freedom struggle, and is where policymakers and community builders come to connect, recharge their spiritual and physical batteries, and brainstorm strategies. More information to come.
Mondays February 7, 14, 21 and 28 African Coffee Mondays: Strawberry Plains Campus Enjoy a free coffee with a different African blend every week.
Wednesday February 16
African American Reading: Zoom Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join us for the 8th Annual African American Reading. More information to come.
Friday February 18 McAdoo Green Museum: Strawberry Plains Campus Join us for a visit to the Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton, Tennessee, a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Clinton 12s. More information to come.
February 21-28
All events 2-3:30 p.m.
Paint and sip: Monday, February 21: Hardin Valley Campus Cafeteria or Cafeteria Annex Tuesday, February 22: Blount County Campus 109 or 127 Wednesday, February 23: Campus Lobby at Magnolia Avenue Thursday, February 24: Campus Cafeteria/Lounge at Division Street February 25: Strawberry Plains Campus 2053 or 2620 Sip hot chocolate, tea or apple cider while receiving step-by-step instructions for painting a scene from ‘The Color Purple,’ based on the 1982 novel d ‘Alice Walker. There is no cost. However, places are limited. To reserve your spot, email [email protected] with the date you plan to attend.
Wednesday February 23
Concert: 11:45 a.m.
Workshop: 3:45 p.m.
Dom Flemons concert and workshop: Clayton Performing Arts Center Dom Flemons, Grammy Award winner, two-time Emmy nominee and 2020 United States Artists Fellow, will perform a free concert at 11:45 a.m., followed by a free workshop on the African roots of the banjo and its influence on music American at 3:45 p.m.
Friday February 25
6 p.m.
Pellissippi Party and Motown Concert: College Center, Goins Building, Hardin Valley Campus It’s going to be a fun Friday night at Pellissippi State! Join us for free food and a great Soul Sound Revue concert!
Monday February 28
1:30 p.m.
Variations Ensemble performs a collection of African-American spirituals: Goins Rotunda, Hardin Valley Campus and Facebook Live
Monday February 28
3 p.m.
HBCU transfer event: Virtually join student engagement and leadership and a host of connections to historically black colleges and universities as we bring you an afternoon full of history and transfer options. This virtual event must surely be informative and possibly life changing. Whether you stay here in Tennessee or decide to head west, there are 107 options available to you. More information to come.


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