Celebrate Black History Month in Kingsport

Holly Viers • Feb 14, 2020 at 11:00 AM

KINGSPORT – If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month, several opportunities are coming up in Kingsport.

South Central Kingsport Community Development, New Vision Youth, Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Riverview Boys and Girls Club, LampLight Theatre, Kingsport Girls Inc. and Eastman have partnered to hold five free events for the community, the first of which is happening this weekend.

Black History Program

This annual event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. at LampLight Theatre, located at 140 Broad St. This year’s theme will be “Our Unity Makes the Community.”

Entertainment will be provided by Devoted Gospel Choir, Ebenezer Voices for the Lord Choir, Ross and Company Praise Team, Billy Wayne and Friends, New Vision Youth Drama Team, soloist and minister Patricia Stover and Full Gospel Mission Church Community Youth Choir.

“There will be a lot of singing, praise dancing and short speeches,” said Johnnie Mae Swagerty, New Vision Youth director and one of the organizers of the events. “It’s just us coming together.”

Soul Food Gathering and Bingo

Both of these annual events will be held Feb. 22. This year’s Soul Food Gathering, themed “Cooking Love Provides Food for the Soul,” will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Center on Wheatley Street, next to the basketball court. Bingo will follow at 6 p.m. in the same location.

A wide variety of foods will be on the menu at the Soul Food Gathering, including fried fish, barbecue ribs, deer meat, goat meat, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, green beans, potato salad, sweet potatoes, soup beans and cornbread, salads, desserts and more. Like the other events, the gathering is free, but donations will be accepted.

“It’s for everybody to come together in the community and eat food from the past to the present,” Swagerty said. “You can meet new friends, talk and fellowship.”

Those who come to bingo are asked to bring a small prize for the winners, Swagerty added.

Movie and Popcorn Night

The community is invited to enjoy a movie and popcorn on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Douglass Room at the V.O. Dobbins Complex, located at 301 Louis St.

This year’s movie will be “Selma,” a 2014 historical drama based on the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches of 1965.

“It’s an educational movie, also, for the youth that are coming up; we want to educate them on this,” Swagerty said. “There’s going to be one door prize to the person that brings the most people.”

Educational Field Trip

On Feb. 29, people of all ages are invited to take a field trip to Pennington Gap to visit the Appalachian African-American Cultural Center, formerly the Pennington Colored Elementary School, Swagerty said.

Participants should meet at 9 a.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Complex parking lot, located at 301 Louis St. The bus, which can carry 70 people, will leave at 9:30 and return by 2 p.m. The group will stop for lunch at an area restaurant, but each guest is responsible for paying for their own food, Swagerty said.

For more information about any of the events, contact Swagerty at (423) 429-7553.