The 2002 Black History Committee has arranged for five local events to celebrate Black History Month, said committee member and coordinator Sherry Patterson.
"It's gonna be awesome," Patterson said. Patterson is serving on the committee for the first time. She is a native of Louisiana who moved here from Anchorage 14 years ago.
The events include a concert, a ladies' gathering, a day of storytelling and history, a display and a ball.
The free gospel concert will feature Patterson and her musical friends from Anchorage. It will be given twice, on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 6 p.m., with both performances at Restoration Grace Outreach Center, 5636 Glacier Highway, across from Alaska Electric Light & Power. The program will include Negro spirituals, traditional music and contemporary Christian music, Patterson said.
Gospel performers flying down from Anchorage for the concert include her father-in-law, the Rev. Alonzo Patterson, and members of his congregation. For details, call her evenings at 790-9371.
The ladies' gathering lets the ladies speak without interruption from husbands or children. It takes place at 10 a.m., Feb. 23, at Restoration Grace Outreach Center and includes Vickie Casey, a minister from Shiloh Baptist Church in Anchorage, as speaker. The gathering is an outreach of a ministry of women to women led by Patterson, called Women of Restored Destiny. "I thought while the visitors were here from Anchorage, I would use them to their fullest," she said. "We don't usually have a Black speaker."
The third event is a Day of Storytelling & African American History, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 23 at the Nugget Mall, in the suite across from Hearthside Books. Soul food samples will be available, and performances will include dramatic tellings as well as music. For details, contact Ernest and Michelle Monts, 790-2685.
The African American Display will take place from noon to 4 p.m., Feb. 24, at the Nugget Mall. Local families will bring memorabilia, and artists will display their creations, Patterson said.
The Blue & Black Ball is an occasion for putting on the Ritz of denim and black leather. It will take place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., March 1 at the Elk's Lodge, 109 South Franklin St. Tickets are $25 per couple, or $15 for one person. For details, contact James and Claudia Paige, 789-2856.
Black History Month was formally adopted in 1976 as part of the nation's Bicentennial celebration. It is, said Juneau Mayor Sally Smith in a proclamation issued Feb. 11 on behalf of the City & Borough Assembly, "a time for all Americans to reflect on the rich history and teachings of African Americans whose contributions are vast and wide."
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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