A professor at Surry Community College will be the guest speaker at an annual black history program Sunday in Mount Airy.
That event is a key part of Black History Month activities in the county, which also will be highlighted by the presentation of a play and an annual 100 Men in Black service later in February.
Organizers are excited about the black history program that will feature Dr. Cory Stewart. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday at Ararat Missionary Baptist Church, located on Jones School Road beside J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
Stewart is expected to bring a unique perspective to the evolution of blacks in America, against a backdrop of his many years studying U.S. history from its beginnings. He focuses on the social history of the Revolutionary period, including events in Surry County.
After receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Appalachian State University, where Stewart began to concentrate on the American Revolution in the Southern backcountry, he furthered his studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Stewart subsequently earned a Ph.D. in American history from UNC-G, with his dissertation exploring the Revolutionary War in both Surry and Rowan counties, a topic he continues to pursue and expand.
In addition to the keynote address by Stewart, the black history program will include music by the Ararat Missionary Baptist Church choir and a congregational singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome.”
Cordie Armstrong, who was elected to the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners in November, will emcee Sunday’s program, with Daphne Tucker to read a proclamation.
The event is sponsored by Surry County Chapter 5459 of the NAACP.
Anise Hickman, program chairperson for the group, said the annual black history program is always held at a local church and this year Ararat Missionary Baptist was chosen as the setting.
Also in conjunction with Black History Month, a play with thought-provoking subject matter is scheduled for Feb. 22-24 at J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium.
The sixth annual Black History Month play locally, “Run’n Scared” is a historical account of race relations during the early 1900s and the perennial problem of child molestation, Vivian France, writer and director of the production, has said.
Its plot concerns a black man being wrongly accused of a deplorable crime.
The multi-racial cast of “Run’n Scared” has been in rehearsal for weeks.
Shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23 and a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. on Feb. 24.
Typically, admission is charged for the annual Black History Month plays, with part of the proceeds used for community projects such as continuing renovations of J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium.
Men In Black
Once again, Chestnut Ridge Primitive Progressive Baptist Church on N.C. 89 near Westfield will host the annual 100 Men in Black service.
This year, the service will be held on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.
The event stresses the importance of men being more involved in church activities. As its name implies, those attending are asked to wear black. At the start of the service, all the men enter the sanctuary as a group and sit together in pews on one side, while the women occupy the other.
People of all races are welcome to attend the spirited event celebrated with music from out-of-town gospel groups and remarks by various speakers.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.