Black History Month Programs


Donations for the Black History Month banquet at Second Missionary Baptist Church is $20 for adults and $15 for students. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. today. No tickets will be available at the door. People interested in tickets may call Lynette Ramsey at 423-364-5603 before the program.

Orchard Park Seventh-day Adventist Church. Celebrating Chattanooga’s Hometown History Makers. Guest Speaker James C. Cooley, CEO of the J.C. Cooley Foundation. 11 a.m. Feb. 25. and 5 p.m. Feb. 25. for panel discussion and scholarship presentations. For more information contact Freddie Brooks at 423-488-4897.

› The Rev. Charlotte S. Williams, pastor of Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church, will speak at 6 p.m., Feb. 19. at Church of the First Born 3418 St. Elmo Ave.

Bessie Smith Cultural Center

› The Bessie Smith Cultural Center will host an exhibit on Martin Luther King Jr. and another on the Underground Railroad. Both are scheduled to run from Wednesday to April 30.

› The Word Players presents, “A Woman Called Truth,” Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 3 p.m., Sunday. Admission is free.

› Talk with the National Park Service at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. “Why They Fought: Abolitionists in the Army of the Cumberland, 5:30-7 p.m., Monday.

› African-American Entrepreneur Financial Empowerment Seminar “Are You Ready to Launch?” 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Feb. 18.

› Public outreach and educational event at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center with NAACP Feb. 19.

Bessie Smith Cultural Center Southern Soul and Blues Lounge. Entertainers include J-Wonn, Nelson Curry, Grady Champion, Miss Lady Blues, Comedian Uncle Shine. Doors open at 7 p.m. Feb. 25. Show starts at 8 p.m. Advance tickets $15. At the door $20. Tickets available at Bessie Smith Cultural Center. 423-266-8658.


› Special Advance Screening: Maya Angelou: “And Still I Rise.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Program starts at 6. Limited seating is available and registration and tickets are required.

› Sunday Gospel Brunch. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., Feb. 19. Tickets are available online for $15.

› Black Coffee Discussion Series 8 a.m., Feb. 22. Free admission.

The Sounds of Freedom 4:30 p.m., Feb. 26. Seating is limited. Donations accepted.

› The Jazzanooga Experience Live on 93.5 FM. Every Sunday in February beginning at 7 p.m.


› Black Issues Summit: Against the Isms pre-conference workshop scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 led by Dr. Dwaun Warmack, president of Harris- Stowe State University. Grammy Award Winning Music Producer David Banner will give the keynote address Feb. 25.


A local church stacked with retired educators, a federal court judge and area government officials work together each year to organize a black history program that utilizes young people to inform and inspire the community.

"I hope they get the hope part," publicity coordinator Lynette Ramsey said of the program's audience. "Sometimes, we hear things like hope is lost, but once you hear these perspectives from our youth, I think people will be more inspired about our future."

Second Missionary Baptist Church hosts its 31st Black History banquet at 6 p.m. today.

The theme of the event is "The Crisis in Black Education, A Legacy of Strength; A Future of Hope." Minister Ronald Harris will narrate the program.

The event is among several local plays, lectures and musical performances observing the history of blacks in America.

The WordPlayers will perform "A Woman Called Truth" about Civil Rights Activist Sojourner Truth at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Interpretive Park Ranger Chris Young will tell how abolitionists came to oppose slavery and believed so strongly that they died trying to end it. He will give the presentation "Why They Fought: Abolitionists in the Army of the Cumberland," at 5:30 p.m. Monday, also at the Cultural Center.

And the Rev. Charlotte Williams will discuss blacks in Africa before slavery at the Church of the First Born at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19.

Today, youth at Second Missionary Baptist Church will form a panel which will discuss topics and give a historical timeline of blacks in America starting from The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the Little Rock Nine in the 1950s and the election of former President Barack Obama.

Participants will discuss historical facts about the events and then discuss how those events instill values like creativity, commitment and courage.

Youth participant Kaiya Moore will share history about how Jesse Owens won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics and Jonathan Sims will discuss the Tuskegee Airmen.

Alauna Simms will discuss celebrated singer Marian Anderson who won a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991.

"We get to express how we fell about what other African Americans did in history and how it's going to make us better in the future," said the 13-year-old Simms.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at or 423-757-6431.