Gospel Fest, MLK book discussion to mark Black History Month at Sweet Briar

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Janika Carey

Sweet Briar College is celebrating Black History Month with two public events this February. On Friday, Feb. 17, students, faculty, staff and the community will gather during lunch in Josey Dining Room to discuss Martin Luther King’s “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.” The annual Gospel Fest will take place the following week, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, in Memorial Chapel.

GospelFest-2016-KollinKirven Gospel Fest 2016. Photo by Kollin Kirven ’18

Friday’s book discussion at noon is sponsored by the Office of Student Life, the Office of Human Resources and the English department. While prior reading is not required, participants are encouraged to identify any ideas and passages they would like to discuss in Martin Luther King’s “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community.” A number of free copies are available in the student life office on a first-come, first-served basis.

First published the year King died, the book outlines the reverend’s vision of America’s future, renewing his call for racial equality as well as better jobs, higher wages and improved education for all Americans. Many of the social and political issues King addresses in this work are still relevant today, nearly 50 years after his death.

A popular Sweet Briar staple, Gospel Fest will feature a mix of soloists and groups from the area, including Spiritual Workers of Central Virginia, Derrick Thompson, Dawn Reid, Rita Kidd and UNIFIED FOR CHRIST PRAISE DANCERS from Mount Airy Baptist Church. Other performers include assistant professor of music and soprano Marcia Thom-Kaley and Sweet Briar students Daijhanara Jones ’19 and Jessie Schuster ’17, among others.

As every year, the concert will culminate in a Soul Food Dinner at 6 p.m. in Prothro Dining Hall. Dinner rates for guests are $7.50 for adults and $4.50 for children ages 3 to 11.

For more information about Gospel Fest, email Kristie Evans at kevans@sbc.edu. For more information about the book reading, email Nicole Whitehead at nwhitehead@sbc.edu, Kelly Kraft-Meyer at kraft_meyer@sbc.edu or John Gregory Brown at brown@sbc.edu.