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Groups celebrate Black History Month

Posted on February 13, 2017

Published by El Dorado News Times

By Tia Lyons Staff Writer

EL DORADO — Two local entities are joining forces to add to the bevy of events that are on tap to celebrate Black History Month in El Dorado.

First Baptist Church – Cordell and South Arkansas Community College are partnering to host a gospel musical and the 2017 Youth Summit.

The summit and musical are part of events that have been announced for SouthArk’s African American Heritage Week, Feb. 13 – 18, which starts Monday.

The Rev. Pierce Moore, pastor of First Baptist, previously told the News-Times that the church is looking for ways to spread its community outreach efforts, and combining its youth summit with SouthArk’s African American Friends and Family Day seemed like a prime opportunity for both entities.

All events are free and open to the public.

• SouthArk will start off Heritage week at 12:15 p.m. today with the African-American Read-In.

The Read-In, which celebrates African-American literature and poetry, will be held in the Murphy II room of the El Dorado Conference Center.

• At 6 p.m. today, an AfroPunk concert featuring R&B band Vintage Trouble will be presented in the SouthArk Library Auditorium.

The four-man band was formed in 2010 in California and is known for a gritty, guitar-fueled blues and rock sound.

Vintage Trouble has toured with legendary acts The Rolling Stones and the The Who.

The group and its song, “Today is Pretty Great,” was featured in a 2014 TV commercial for Honda Civic.

• Between Monday and Wednesday, the SouthArk Bistro will offer daily Soul Food Lunch Specials.

Monday’s menu includes meatloaf, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, cornbread, and chicken and sausage gumbo as the Daily Soup.

For Tuesday, the Bistro will serve fried chicken breast with white gravy, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread.

The Daily Soup will be broccoli and cheese.

On the final day, Soul Food specials will include fried fish, hushpuppy French fries, and coleslaw, with chicken tortilla soup as the soup of the day.

The Bistro, located in the El Dorado Conference Center, is open from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday and from 8 a.m. until noon on Friday.

• The Unity in the Community Musical will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at First Baptist Church – Cordell, 620 Cordell Ave.

The concert is being held in support of the Shirley Jean Hicks Russell Memorial Scholarship, which is offered through the SouthArk Foundation.

There will be performances by the Frankie Andrews Concert Choir (Andrews is a student at SouthArk), Anointed Shutes Sisters, Curry Chapel AME choir, Mount Calvary Baptist Church Male Chorus, and Upward Bound Praise Dancers.

• African-American Family and Friends Day is set from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the SouthArk gymnasium on the college’s west campus, 300 S. West Ave.

The annual event will incorporate activities of the First Baptist Youth Summit.

The theme of the 2017 summit is “Repairing the Breach.”

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the opening will follow at 9 a.m.

Free T-shirts will be distributed to the first 100 attendees.

El Dorado native and poet Moriah Hicks will help open the summit with an original work.

Morning breakout sessions will start at 9:25 a.m. with “Behavior that Builds,” which will provide tools and resources to deal with self-destructive behavior in the community.

Facilitators for the session will be Kristi Gardner, Kensel Spivey and Greg Williams.

The “Shortage to Surplus” session will begin at 10:25 a.m. with facilitators Carlos Buie, Markeith Cook and Michael Wilson.

Moving from poverty to power and prosperity will be the focus of the session.

At 11:15 a.m., the Zion Watch Baptist Church Puppet Ministry will provide entertainment based on the theme of the summit.

Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Afternoon breakout sessions will commence at 12:20 p.m. with “Black and Blue Relationships.”

Gardner, Darwin Moore, and representatives from area law enforcement agencies will facilitate a discussion on how to engage with law enforcement officers.

The final session of the day will be “Parenting that Propels,” facilitated by Buie, Cook, and Hicks.

A wrap-up meeting is set for 1:45 p.m.

For more information, call Veronda Tatum at 870-864-7133 or First Baptist Church at 870-863-8328

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@