Black History Month Celebrated

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The University of West Georgia will observe Black History Month with exciting events on campus that include A Gullah Geechee Gathering, a dramatic one-man play telling the story of Frederick Douglass, and student presentation, “The Royalty of Africa.”

Sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs, A Gullah Geechee Gathering will present an exhibit and show in the Campus Center on Monday, Feb. 16. The event is free and the community is invited to attend.

Jim and Pat Bacote, historians and cultural preservationists, and the Geechee Kunda team will help the audience to understand the Gullah culture, dialect and traditions.

The Gullah/Geechee of the Southeast coast, descendents of West Africa, have a unique culture, language, arts and rituals that have been maintained for centuries. They have a remarkable story to tell.

Isolated on island communities from southern North Carolina to northern Florida, the Gullah Geechee are known for a strong sense of community built on extended family units and for living off the land and water.

They have remained deeply connected to the roots of African culture that include its colorful art, crafts, foods and religious rituals and speak a distinct Creole language.

An educational exhibit will be open for viewing at the Campus Center from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. A show packed with the music and the colorful art of the Gullah will be performed by the Kunda team at 7 p.m. For more information, call 678-839-5400.

The curtain rises for “Frederick Douglass - in the Shadow of Slavery” at the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Performed by film and stage star Mel Johnson Jr., the inspiring production chronicles the life of Douglass as he struggles through 19th century America.

From a childhood of slavery to a perilous escape to freedom, Douglass is one of the most famous and accomplished black men in American history. “Frederick Douglass” reveals his intense friendships with John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, his total devotion to emancipation and his lifelong service to former slaves after the Civil War.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and military and $5 for students and children. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 678-839-4722 or visit http://www.townsendcenter.org/.

A celebration of African culture will also be presented through dance, cuisine, fashion, poetry and entertainment at “The Royalty of Africa,” presented by UWG students in the African Student Association on Thursday, Feb. 19, in the Campus Center Ballroom. Tickets are $5 for students $10 for adults.