Black History Month events celebrate rich history
By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on February 10, 2017 8:49 AM
10-year-old Elizabeth O'Neal makes a drawing of Rosa Parks under the supervision of W. A. Foster Center's Ashley Davis. Davis made the African-American Achievers tri-fold poster in honor of black history month to inform the children and adults who frequent the center. There are currently several posters around the center that will be on display for the month.
An interfaith breakfast, human relations award banquet and a variety of other events are planned in the Goldsboro area to celebrate Black History Month in February.
The annual interfaith breakfast is planned on Feb. 14 at 8 a.m. at the Goldsboro Event Center, 1501 S. Slocumb St., with $7.50 tickets on sale at the city's Community Relations Office, 214 N. Center St. Tickets can also be purchased at the event.
The theme for the breakfast and other city events is unity, said Shycole Simpson Carter, Goldsboro community relations director.
"The goal is to expand the message of hope and healing through ongoing community engagement activities throughout the year to bridge the gaps that may divide us," Simpson Carter said.
The breakfast, hosted in partnership with Wayne County and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, includes participation from three pastors or ministers.
The city will also host its annual human relations banquet on Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Goldsboro Event Center. Tickets at $7.50 each are on sale in the Community Relations Office or at the door.
The event includes three awards presented to an individual, business or industry and civic organization that has provided services that are making a difference in the community.
The awards banquet also includes recognitions of the winners of the 13th annual poster and essay contests, which highlight the work of Wayne County school children.
All poster entries are currently on display inside the Berkeley Mall and will remain through Feb. 11. The top three winners of the poster contest and the essay contest will receive a trophy at the annual awards banquet. Each entrant will also be presented with a certificate signed by the mayor and chairman of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
The city of Goldsboro's Community Relations Department also plans to provide black history facts each week on the city website and Facebook page, Simpson Carter said. The history facts will honor the contributions of African-Americans in city history.
Other events in the Goldsboro area include an Arts Council cultural celebration, a basketball tournament, library programs, and several Peggy Seegars Senior Center events, including a concert with The Monitors.
W.A. FOSTER CENTER
A two-day basketball tournament is planned at the W.A. Foster Center, a city recreation facility, at 1012 S. John St. The Hardwood Classic Basketball Series Tournament is planned on Feb. 12 and Feb. 26, starting at 1 p.m. each day. Call 734-4164 to register for the no-cost event that is open to anyone age 19 and older.
"It's just for them to have fun," said Alyssa Bradshaw, recreation center assistant. "This is the first time we're doing it. We usually have our 19 and up group play on Sundays."
Every Sunday, nearly 50 adults play basketball at the center, which has experienced an uptick in overall attendance since the center opened in 2016. The tournament is expected to draw at least 100 participants, Bradshaw said.
The W.A. Foster Center is celebrating Black History Month in other ways by adding displays and pictures of famous African-Americans, including Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play major league baseball, Athea Gibson, the first black athlete to cross the color line in international tennis, and others, including poet Maya Angelou and musician Louis Armstrong.
Event promotional materials focus on Earl Llyod, the first black person to play in the National Basketball Association.
The Peggy Seegars Senior Center, at 2001 Ash St., is planning several events during Black History Month.
The Monitors will be in concert on Feb. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the center and offer the chance to learn more about the contributions of African-Americans to music. There is no cost to attend the concert, which is sponsored by the Arts Council.
A drama team black history presentation, "Wade in the Water, will be held Feb. 28 at 3:00 pm. at the center.
The production will provide a walk through history depicting the fight of African-Americans to be viewed as more than property but instead people with interests in the right to life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.
The Wayne County Public Library, at 1001 E. Ash St., will have a black superheroes program, poetry celebration and historical program about the U.S. Colored Troops.
On Feb. 18, from 3:30 t0 4:30 p.m., local comic enthusiast Brandon Robbins will talk about the evolution and image of the black superhero.
On Feb. 21, from 6 to 7 p.m., an "African-American Poetry: A Celebration" will be held. Lenard Moore, English professor at the University of Mount Olive and 2014 recipient of the N.C. Literature Award, will talk about the contributions of African-Americans to poetry and will read selected poems.
On Feb. 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the "Freedom For All, How the 135th U.S. Colored Troops Formed in Goldsboro in March 1865" program will be presented.
The event will include information on how more than 1,100 black men were recruited into the Union Army near the end of the Civil War, including more than 200 North Carolinians and 30 with ties to Wayne County.
Earl James, curator at the N.C. Museum of History, will present research from documents uncovered at the U.S. National Archives. James will present personal stories from pension records, grave markers and photographs.
All library events are open to the public at no cost.