National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. will serve as the keynote speaker of the D.C. Black History Celebration Committee’s kickoff of activities for Black History Month next week.
Chavis will speak Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m during a segment titled “Power of The Black Press, Then and Now.”
Other participants in the all-virtual program include Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), former D.C. Council member Frank Smith, founder and director of the African American Civil War Memorial, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), photographer and actor Marvin Bowser, social activist and performer Luci Murphy and photographer and voting rights activist Phil Portlock.
Residents are invited to show support by displaying the committee’s “Black Lives & Black History Matter” sign, starting Tuesday.
Free signs and Black History Month calendars are available at D.C. public libraries, certain restaurants and government offices. The committee’s and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Black History events can be viewed at www.dcarts.dc.gov.
Other noteworthy events sponsored by the committee include a free play primarily for senior citizens, co-sponsored by The Mosaic Theater, “Dear Mapel” by Psalmayene 24 on Feb. 10 and “Black History Continues” that will occur virtually on Feb. 28 featuring Dr. Yolandra Hancock of George Washington University and Dr. Reed Tuckson, former D.C. health commissioner.
“It is important to pay homage to the past but just as important to celebrate the people who are making history today,” said Chuck Hicks, founder of the committee.
For more information and registration, go to www.dcblackhistory.org.