Thursday, January 28, 2010

Roswell Roots


Regardless of your heritage, you don’t want to miss the Roswell Roots festival. This year’s festival marks the ninth year Roswell has hosted what has become the largest and most comprehensive Black History celebration in the state of Georgia. Throughout the month Black History and culture are celebrated with a series of unique and fun events for everyone. Come share in our rich history and contemporary culture and discover something exciting about Roswell that you didn’t know before.

Month long exhibits include:
“By Skilled Hands” Exhibit
Barrington Hall
An exhibit of objects from our collection made by enslaved African Americans. Discover the stories of the skilled hands that created these objects. Included with regular tours of Barrington Hall throughout the month of February.

“Sharing the Story of Slavery” Exhibit
Bulloch Hall
In this unique exhibit, each room displays many of the chores and tasks of the Bulloch slaves, opening discussions about the important role these enslaved people played in the Bulloch household and throughout the South in general. Included with regular tours of Bulloch Hall throughout the month of February.

Mamie Cotton’s Legacy
Smith Plantation
Mamie Cotton worked at the Smith Plantation from 1940 until her death in 1994, and was a resident for 34 years. During the month of February, Smith Plantation will celebrate the life of Mamie Cotton and her contributions to the Archibald Smith Plantation Home. Included with regular tours of Smith Plantation throughout the month of February.

The Tuskegee Airmen: The Segregated Skies of WWII
City Hall Rotunda Exhibit
An exhibit that explores the history and heroism of the first African American pilots to fly in combat during World War II. The 10-panel exhibit is presented by the Museum of History and Holocaust Education of Kennesaw State University in partnership with Tuskegee University. KSU students of Museum Studies serve as curators for the exhibit.

Linc’s Fabric Works Exhibit
A One Man Show of Fabric Collages by Wycliffe “Linc” Bennett
Opening Reception & Artist Talk – Wed, 2/10: 6-8 pm
Roswell Cultural Arts Center Lobby
Linc was born in Jamaica West Indies and came with his family to the US in the 1950s settling in the South Bronx. Using GI benefits, he attended night school at Hunter College in New York City then later graduated with honors from Columbia where he earned an MBA. He is a CPA and former VP and Chief Financial Officer. Linc spent more than 30 years pursuing a corporate career but since the spring of 2003, he has been embracing his passion for art. He is a self-taught portrait artist working primarily with fabric collages.

Schedule of Events:
2/3, 4:30 pm – A Visit with Award-Winning Children’s Author Sheila P. Moses
Roswell Library
A finalist for the Coretta Scott King Award and for the National Book Award, Sheila P. Moses will talk about her books and her writing for children in grades 4-8. Ms. Moses will autograph copies of her books after the program.

2/4, 10 am – Storyteller J’miah Nabawi
North Fulton Child Development Center
J’miah Nabawi, national award-winning professional storyteller and author of children’s books will perform at this event for children ages pre-K and elementary. J’miah’s traditional arts programming reflects the story-dance-musical storytelling drama of Africa and its Diaspora. His upbringing in a household of family dancers and improvisational music practitioners are the major influences on his style and work.

2/6, noon – Step Dancing Competition
Pleasant Hill Community Center
Local youth step teams will show off their high-energy step routines to win prizes. Stepping or step-dancing includes combinations of dance, gymnastics, hand claps and chants. Teams will be judged on creativity, originality and quality of presentation.

2/7, 3 pm – Our Heritage through Dance, Drama, and Music
Roswell Cultural Arts Center
This annual program will feature local talent and guest artists. Advance tickets: $10 – adults, $8 – seniors 65+, $8 – Youth under 16. Tickets at the door: $15 – adults, $10 – seniors 65+, $10 – Youth under 16.

2/11, 7 pm and 2/13, 3 pm – Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep South
Roswell Library
Documentary film-maker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U. S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. This program is presented in collaboration with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History and Early Edgewood-Candler Park Bi-Racial History Project.

2/13, 2-4 pm – “Longing for Freedom”
Bulloch Hall
This exploration of slavery begins at the Bulloch Hall slave quarters with stories from children’s literature depicting life as an enslaved person in the 1800s and documented stories of Bulloch Hall slaves. The program concludes with a tour of the “Big House” and is presented from the perspective of the slave. For visitors 8 to adult. Reservations required. $6 per person.

2/18, 7 pm: signup, 8 pm: Slam competition begins – “Slammin’ in the Suburbs”: Roswell Poetry Slam
Red Door Playhouse
Roswell’s 6th annual poetry slam during which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience on content (discretion encouraged) and performance. Hosted by award winning spoken word artist, Ayodele Heath.

2/20, noon & 2:30 pm – Seventh Annual Tea and Hat Show
Smith Plantation
The Smith Plantation will host an informal tea and fashion show as our guest speaker shares her personal relationship and history with hats. Attendees are encouraged to wear their hats and share their personal stories while enjoying tea. Admission is $15. Both seatings have limited spaces and require advance reservations. Call (770) 641-3978

2/25, 7:30 pm – KUUMBA Portraits
Roswell Visitors Center
KUUMBA Storytellers of Georgia share an evening of African American stories and folktales in commemoration of Black History Month. $5 admission.

2/26, 7-9 pm– Unity Concert
1st Baptist Church of Roswell
Magnificent voices of choirs from several area churches including Gethsemane Garden Missionary Baptist Church, Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church and others perform their favorite selections. In addition you will hear the outstanding voices of the Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy Choir, which consist of students from grades 9-12.

2/27, 3 pm – Gullah Culture and Cooking with Sallie Ann Robinson
Barrington Hall
Author and cultural historian Sallie Ann Robinson will share good stories and good food in the kitchen of Barrington Hall. Her tales of growing up in the Gullah culture on Dafuskie Island, SC are a glimpse into a vanishing way of life. The author of several books on Gullah food and culture, Ms. Robinson was also the former student of Pat Conroy when he taught school on Dafuskie. In the foreword to her first book, Mr. Conroy states that she has just made him “the proudest man on earth.” Ms. Robinson will be available to sell and sign books and just plain visit.

2/27, 11 am – Meet Georgia Teen Book of the Year Author Ted Dunagan
Roswell Library
Ted Dunagan will discuss his award-winning book, A Yellow Watermelon. This story is rooted in the best Southern literary tradition. It is a fine, well-told tale of a friendship between two smart, likeable boys – one black, one white. The author will autograph copies of the book after the event.

History of Black History Month:
Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month" thanks to the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the African American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

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