Much like other Southern towns, Nashville has a rich history of African American culture. From hosting the largest inland fort during the Civil War, Fort Negley, built by freed slaves in the Union Army, to more modern civil rights stand-ins and protests, Black History has played a major part in the development of this city.
Visit the First Amendment Center near Vanderbilt on February 17 for A Journey Through Slavery at the Whitney Plantation: Lecture with Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Presented by Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President. This presentation covers The Whitney Plantation. The home is a former indigo and sugar plantation located in Louisiana on the Mississippi River. Receiving international attention for its recent opening as a museum, the focus is entirely about telling the stories of slavery. Dr. Seck will present the history of the Whitney Plantation in his lecture presented in the wider context of the Atlantic slave trade and will touch many topics related to the cultural legacies of slavery in Louisiana. Following the program, guests are invited to stay for a reception and book-signing.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery presents Exhibition opening – Slavery, the Prison Industrial Complex: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick (on view through May 28, 2018), February 23. For more than 30 years, New Orleans natives Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have documented African American life in Louisiana. They have made regular visits to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola to photograph life on the prison farm. The farm was founded on the consolidated grounds of several cotton and sugarcane plantations. The poignant black-and-white images record the exploitation of the men incarcerated within the maximum-security prison farm while also showcasing prisoners’ humanity and individual narratives.
And you can’t post about Black History month in Nashville without covering Black History Month Memorial Service, Presented by Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President at The Hermitage Church on February 24. This annual commemoration of those enslaved at The Hermitage and throughout the country will feature guest speaker Nicole A. Moore of the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta. Approximately 150 flowers will be laid, marked with the names of all those that are known to have been enslaved at The Hermitage. Minister Green will then lead a spiritual ceremony to honor the ancestors commonly found in traditional African religions.