February has been established as Black History month. Pensacola has a rich African-American culture and heritage. Here are a few of the local festivals, events and art exhibits that celebrate our diversity:
Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.
West Florida Genealogical Society
The society presents a program on researching African-American genealogy. John Veasley will have a table display of his own family research efforts. Jerry Merritt will give a 45-minute Power Point presentation on the similarities and differences in African-American and European genealogy and examples of successful family histories completed by local volunteers. Asbury Place, 5725 N. 9th Ave., 432-7072
Saturday, Feb. 04, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Grandmothers have a special line of communication with the Lord. This play is about grandmothers who prayed for their grandchildren and served as major influences in their lives. Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox, $31. 595-3880 or pensacolasaenger.com
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Tyler Perry’s “The Have and The Have Nots”
This funny and equally poignant stage play follows the life of a wealthy family who have everything they need and most of what they want. When the poverty stricken maid is forced to ask for help, the family gets a chance to see how the other half lives. Pensacola Civic Center, 201 East Gregory St., $42.50. Tickets available at the Pensacola Civic Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Friday, Feb, 10, 8 p.m.
First Annual Pensacola Blues Festival
The concert brings together some of the biggest legends in blues history, on one stage, for one night only! The all-star line-up includes Mel Waiters, Ms. Jody, Clarence Carter and other well-known artists. Pensacola Civic Center, 201 East Gregory St., $48, $40 and $32. Tickets available at the Pensacola Civic Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pensacola Black History Arts Festival
Art lovers will enjoy viewing the award winning art pieces created by Escambia County elementary, middle and high school students, as well as art and handicrafts by area artists. Also, music and dance by local performers will fill the air throughout the day, making it a fun, festive environment for festival goers of all ages. Belmont/DeVilliers District, for more information call 554-8541.
Saturday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m.
NAACP/ Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Essay Competition Showcase
High school seniors compete for scholarship prizes. The essays are compelling, inspirational and dynamic. This year’s theme is “Never Forget the Dream, It Starts with God, Change Has Come.” Pensacola State College, Hagler Auditorium, 1000 College Blvd., 434-7841 or 484-1759.
Friday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m.
The PJC African-American Memorial Endowed Scholarship Program & Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship Banquet
In the late 1990s, the African-American Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established to honor deceased African-American PJC employees. In 2005, the Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins Student Affairs Complex on the Pensacola campus was dedicated in honor of the visionary educator, and the Dr. Garret T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship for minority students was established. Wiggins served as President of Booker T. Washington Junior College, and in 1965 joined the PJC administration as director of research when the two colleges merged. The banquet’s guest speaker is Rhodes Scholar and elite athlete Garrett Johnson. To attend the banquet, call 484-1759.