For the tenth consecutive year, the Black History Month Festival will be held at the Arlington’s Public Library. The event will be open to the public on February 17, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This year marks a full decade of Arlington residents celebrating the contributions that the African American community has made to the city, Texas, and the country.
Visitors can enjoy performances from local artists, and essay readings that will highlight recent works which have won nationwide awards. The event will also feature a deep discussion on Black photographers and a traveling exhibition on Martin Luther King, Jr.
The traveling exhibition highlighted this year is called “The Road to the Promised Land: Martin Luther King Jr. & the Civil Rights Movement,” and will be set up at the Southeast Branch of the library. This exhibition surveys the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 through the 1990s, starting with the appearance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery bus boycott. There, people can see photographs, facsimiles of landmark documentations and quotations by Dr. King and others who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
The achievements of the Civil Rights Movement laid the groundwork for movements by other minorities and protected groups of people to fight for their rights. The exhibition points out the significance of this movement through the people and events that made it possible, hallmarked by everything that has come after it.
The greater event will start at 2 p.m. on the 17th , with a discussion led by TCC Southeast Art Professor John Neal Phillips about influential 20th-century photographers, Gordon Parks and James Van Der Zee. Their works and cultural impact through the early 20th century will be discussed. At 3 p.m. visitors can enjoy some live music, and at 3:30 additional performances and readings will begin.
Groups you can expect to perform include TCC Southeast Jazz Combo, Ashworth Elementary Musicians, Step By Step Dance Studio, the Bebensee Beats Step Team, the Household of Faith Church and more.