February is a special month indeed with a holiday for sweethearts, a commemorative day for past presidents, and plenty of Mardi Gras festivities scattered throughout. What makes the month even more important is the celebration of African American life and history. Originating in 1926 as only a week-long celebration, today, the entire month of February is dedicated to honoring the heritage, challenges, achievements, and culture of African Americans.
With a rich history all its own, Ruston & Lincoln Parish is proudly offering many opportunities to observe Black History Month this year. Below you’ll find a complete list of events, programming, VIP guests, and speakers to help celebrate in the area, but first, we’d like to share a little more about two individuals in particular who’s life works have made an impact on our country.
Eddie G. Robinson, former Grambling State University football coach, was the embodiment of excellence on and off the football field. The late coach is one of the winningest head football coaches at all levels of football, and he led countless football players to greatness academically, personally, and professionally. Robinson’s powerful life and legacy are on display at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University. Read more about Coach Robinson’s life on our museum blog and on the museum website. We’ll celebrate Coach’s 100th birthday this February!
Morris Taft Thomas is a world renown artist who has created works for Nelson Mandela, Alex Haley, President Jimmy Carter, and BB King. Mr. Thomas is not only a talented artist but an author and poet as well. Works by Mr. Thomas vary from naturalistic to abstract and feature a range of mediums – stone, wood, clay, and paint. His subject matter is drawn from African art combined with an interest in his native Louisiana heritage. Read a more detailed biography for Mr. Thomas on the Ruston Artisans Facebook page.
Schedule of events:
January 21 – March 1
10 a.m.-5 p.m. – The Art of Morris Taft Thomas Exhibition at Ruston Artisans
12 p.m. – Campus Prayer at Grambling State University
10 a.m. – Wreath ceremony for Eddie G. Robinson’s 100th Birthday at Grambling Memorial Garden
11 a.m. – Eddie G. Robinson’s 100th Birthday Convocation at T.H. Harris Auditorium
6 p.m. – 100th Birthday Reception at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum
10 a.m. – Community Day celebrating Coach at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum
7 p.m. – NCLAC Indie Film “Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind – The Carolina Chocolate Drops Story” at the Dixie Center for the Arts (Lawn pre-party at 5:30 p.m.)
11 a.m. – Campus Convocation with author and CNN commentator Bakari Sellers at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on GSU’s campus
12 p.m. – Musical presentation from Jabali Afrika in the McCall Dining Hall on GSU’s campus
7 p.m. – Unity in the Community Concert at the Dixie Center for the Arts
10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Last day of the Art of Morris Taft Thomas Exhibition at Ruston Artisans