EVENTS: Celebrating Black History

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Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith to Give Reading at Emory

Tracy K. Smith, the current U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner, will give a reading of her poems on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

The event is open to the public at no charge. Tickets are not required, but seating will be limited. Books and a limited-edition broadside will be for sale at the reading, with a signing immediately after.

Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “Ordinary Light,” and three books of poetry. She won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection “Life on Mars,” which also was selected as a New York Times Notable Book.

The reading is part of Emory’s Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series, now in its 13th season. Smith is the seventh U.S. poet laureate to be featured in the series.


Nancy Guinn Memorial Library to present “Marshall” and “Hidden Figures” movie showings

The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library and the Rockdale County Chapter of the NAACP will host showings of the highly-acclaimed movie “Marshall” and the Academy Awards nominated movie “Hidden Figures.”  The library will show “Marshall” on Saturday, Feb. 17, at noon, in the lower level meeting room and “Hidden Figures” on Monday, Feb. 19, 5 p.m., in the lower level meeting room. Attendees are encouraged to bring snacks.

The library, in conjunction with the Rockdale County Chapter of the NAACP, will host a variety of Black History Month programs in February, including the “Black History Festival:  A Celebration of Cultural Heritage” at the library on Saturday, Feb. 24, noon to 4 p.m.  Additional Black History Month programming information is available at


Stonecrest Library presents Wednesday documentaries 

Great documentaries can open a window to the past. Join the Stonecrest Library,  3123 Klondike Road, each Wednesday in February, 6 to 8:30 p.m., for an informative film experience.

Feb. 21: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. This ground-breaking documentary explores the Black Panther Party, its significance in American culture and political awakening for black people. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson weaves a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there. The film will be followed by discussion with Akinyele Umoja, professor of African American studies at Georgia State University.

Feb. 28: Africa’s Great Civilizations. The epic story historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. tells is full of surprises and unexpected connections, helping us to appreciate the collective and individual genius of Africans who, across thousands of years, built civilizations and empires, fought wars, spread learning, and created some of the most sublime art and architecture in human history. Gates’ journey takes him from the city of Great Zimbabwe to the pyramids of Meroe, and the spectacular rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia. The film will be followed by discussion with Akinyele Umoja, professor of African American studies at Georgia State University.

The free documentary programs are open to the first 155 participants. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library.


The Lovett School presents poet Nikki Giovvani

Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, will speak on Feb. 21, 7 p.m., in the Hendrix-Chenault Theater at The Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta.

Over the past 30 years, the outspoken nature of her writing and speaking has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” The event is free.


Oakland Cemetery offers African-American History Tours

The Historic Oakland Foundation and City of Atlanta are hosting free, guided walking tours of its African-American grounds from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, through Thursday, Feb. 22.

Tours will take guests to the final resting places of Atlanta black history pioneers like Carrie Steele Logan, founder of the city’s first orphanage for African-American kids, and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American mayor. For more information, visit


Black History Month Parade set

Get your march on at the 2018 Black History Month Parade in the Historic Sweet Auburn District in Downtown Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Spectators can watch the parade along Peachtree Center Ave, Marietta and Peachtree Street near Five Points Station or at Centennial Olympic Park Drive & Baker Street.

Parade begins at Hurt Park at 1 p.m. and ends at Centennial Olympic Park Drive & Baker Street.


Black History Festival: A Celebration of Cultural Heritage

The Rockdale NAACP, in partnership with the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, will present “A Celebration of Cultural Heritage” on Saturday, Feb. 24. The community is invited to attend the free festival.

The events scheduled at the library, 864 Green St., Conyers are as follows:

Noon to 1 p.m. – Paula Wright will present “Love Framed in Black & White in the Computer Center Classroom (lower level of the library).

1 to 3 p.m. – Veterans Memorial Middle School dance troupe (lower level meeting room of the library).

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. -Latifah Shakir tells stories behind African-American quilts (Lower level meeting room of the library)

2:45 to 3 p.m. – Nita Lee performs “Ain’t I A Woman? (lower level meeting room of the library)

3:15 to 3:45 p.m. -Akil Shakir performs Motown classics (lower level meeting room of the library).


Seven churches unite for “An Evening of Spirituals”

Saint Philip A.M.E. Church, 240 Candler Road, SE in Atlanta, will host “Kumbaya” at an “Evening of Spirituals” on Sunday, Feb. 25, 5 p.m. in the sanctuary.

The free concert will feature the Negro Spiritual as lead by Saint Philip’s own Choir #1; the Inspirational Voices from Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Church; the Big Bethel Chorale from Big Bethel A.M.E. Church; the Chancel Choir from East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church; the Celestial Choir from Greenforest Community Baptist Church; the Bell Choir from Mount Calvary Baptist Church; and the Adult Choir from Conyers Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Spirituals, originally an oral tradition that imparted Christian values while also describing the hardships of slavery, today are recognized as a distinct genre of music.

The Reverend William D. Watley, senior pastor of Saint Philip A.M.E. and the Worship Arts Ministry cordially invite the community to this soul-stirring event.

For more information, call L’Tanya Moore-Copeland: 404-371-0749, ext. 8423.


“Getting Started in Genealogy” workshop at Stone Mountain library

Find out about free genealogy resources available to help you discover your family roots.  “Getting Started in Genealogy” will be offered at the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library, 952 Leon St., Stone Mountain, on Monday, Feb. 26, 1 to 3 p.m.

Library staff will tell you about their experiences and discuss research techniques. Staff will provide free ancestral charts and have laptops set up so you can begin your research right away. No registration is required. The class is open to adults 18 and up.

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