Performances and Exhibits Celebrate Black History Month in Tennessee

Friday, January 18, 2013



Black History Month is a time set aside to remember and thank the men and women who made contributions to the greatness of the United States. Foremost in the U.S.  is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a visionary, an inspiration and a voice of freedom for all.

He dreamed of a world where love would abound between mankind regardless of race, creed or color. Dr. King  is remembered on Monday, Jan. 21, and Tennessee has many events to commemorate him  and other African-American men and women during Black History Month.


In the East, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga will display the “We Shall Not Be Moved” exhibit until Feb. 28. The exhibit reveals the non-violent acts contributed by many Tennessee students during the Civil Rights Era. The Gallery of Arts Tribute will give a Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative celebration with singers, actors and poets who will honor King’s vision.


Nashville has many events for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day including “Let Freedom Sing,” a performance by Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Celebration Chorus and others at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The Hermitage has a list of events and lectures scheduled throughout Black History Month to celebrate the contributions of African-American men and women.


Enjoy a night of music and “The Sacred Side of Soulsville” with Stax Music Academy Black History Month Musical with the Rance Allen Group. The Children’s Museum of Memphis is having “A Celebration Fit for a King” with crafts, speeches and the release of two doves symbolizing peace.


Below, please find a brief summary of events surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during Black History Month in Tennessee:



Jan. 21

Johnson City, Tenn. – Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day – East Tennessee State University will host a community service day Jan. 21 and a cake cutting ceremony Jan. 22. For more information, visit

Jan. 17-21

Knoxville, Tenn. – Gallery of Arts Tribute – Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration – Singers, actors, dancers, poets and others will present a tribute to Martin Luther King’s vision. For more information, visit


Chattanooga, Tenn. – “Eyes on the Prize” and SOUL CINEMA – The 14-hour television series “Eyes on the Prize” will be shown from noon – 1p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. SOUL CINEMA will feature classic African American movies from 7:30 p.m. – midnight every Friday. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit

Chattanooga, Tenn. – “We Shall Not Be Moved” – The traveling exhibit provides a look at how Tennessee students played a part in the Civil Rights Movement through non-violence and sit-ins. The exhibit will be at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center until Feb. 28. For more information, visit



Nashville, Tenn. -- “The Civil War and Reconstruction” – A section of the exhibit features African American Union soldiers at the Tennessee State Museum. For more information, visit

Nashville, Tenn. -- “The Civil Rights Collection” – The Nashville Public Library has a collection of black and white photos from the Civil Rights Era, including the Civil Rights Movement. For more information, visit

Jan. 20 - 21


Nashville, Tenn. -- “Let Freedom Sing” – Join the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Celebration Chorus and other special guests at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center for a commemorative concert for Martin Luther King, Jr. For more information, visit

Big South Fork, Tenn. – Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday Jan. 21 with free backcountry camping permits and one night of free camping at Alum Ford Campground. For more information, visit  


Nashville, Tenn. -- Black History Month at The Hermitage – African American history is celebrated through music, lectures, storytelling and more. For more information, visit


Feb. 8

Nashville, Tenn. -- Music City Soul Series Special Concert with Keb’ Mo’ & Friends – Keb’ Mo, Wynonna, The Farm and Michael McDonald will perform a benefit concert for the Fisk Jubilee Singers at the Studio Gallery at Fontanel. For more information, visit

Feb. 8-23

Nashville, Tenn. – African-American History Month – The Nashville Public Library will host a variety of events throughout February including Wishing Chair Productions Anansi the Spider, a marionette play based on the African tales of a tricky spider who deceives to get his wishes. For more information, visit




Jan. 21

Memphis, Tenn. – 2013 King Day: “EDUCATION EQUITY: Creating A Movement in the Community” – Give back to the community through a blood and food drive in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Civil Rights Museum. Receive $1 off museum admission with canned good donations. Free admission will be given to those who donate a pint of blood to LifeBlood Mid-South Regional Centers. For more information, visit


Memphis, Tenn. – A Celebration Fit for a King – Enjoy local artists, crafts and a presentation of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at The Children’s Museum of Memphis. For more information, visit


Feb. 5

Memphis, Tenn. – “The Sacred Side of Soulsville” – Enjoy a night of music with Stax Music Academy Black History Month Musical with the Rance Allen Group at 7:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit


For more information on Tennessee happenings, visit us at,,,, or


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