Celebrate Black History Month this weekend

Holly Viers • Feb 14, 2018 at 1:15 PM

KINGSPORT — If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month, three opportunities are coming up this weekend.

South Central Kingsport Community Development and New Vision Youth, in partnership with Kingsport Parks & Recreation and the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, have planned the following family-friendly activities, all of which are free.

Family Movie Night

This event will be held Friday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Douglass Room at the V.O. Dobbins Complex, located at 301 Louis St. A PG-rated film will be shown, and popcorn will be available.

“It’s to bring the family closer together and allow them to fellowship with other families,” said Johnnie Mae Swagerty, director of South Central Kingsport and New Vision Youth.

The featured film will be “Passing Glory,” which tells the story of an all-black basketball team that challenges the top all-white team in civil rights-era New Orleans.

Soul Food Gathering

Enjoy a variety of traditional and non-traditional foods on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 4-6 p.m. at the Riverview Community Room on Wheatley Street.

This year’s menu will include fried fish, chicken, rabbit with rice and gravy, casseroles, meatloaf, pig feet, soup beans and cornbread, salads, homemade desserts and more. Dishes from Africa and Barbados will also be served.

“We try to get dishes from way back in the slave days,” Swagerty said. “It’s just for everybody to come out and taste a variety of different foods.”

Community Unity Program

The Black History Month celebration will come to a close with the annual Community Unity Program, which will be held Sunday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at LampLight Theatre, located at 140 Broad St.

Entertainment will be provided by the Central Baptist Church choir, dancers from Shiloh Baptist Church, the New Vision Youth drama team, Ashley Hunter, James Peters and Witness, a men’s gospel group.

“It just proves to be a good evening of entertainment,” said Kenneth Calvert of South Central Kingsport and Shiloh Baptist Church. “I think it helps to pull Kingsport together.”

All three events are free, but donations will be taken up at the Community Unity Program and Soul Food Gathering.