We are excited to share some of the events happening in Chattanooga throughout February to honor and commemorate Black History Month with lectures, music, and discussions 

The Power of Activism with Willie "Mukasa Dada" Ricks

February 2 | 6-7:30 PM | Bessie Smith Cultural Center 

The month kicks off with a “Fireside Chat: The Power of Activism” with Willie “Mukasa Dada” Ricks and John Edwards. Willie Ricks, also known as “Mukasa Dada” or “Papa Ricks,” was a prominent Civil Rights activist, community organizer, and leader in the struggle for equal rights in the United States. John Edwards is the owner/editor of the Chattanooga News Chronicle and a local historian 

Price: FREE 

Black Professionals @ The Hunter - Live in Red: Love in Black 

February 6 | 5:30-7:30 PM | The Hunter Museum of American Art 

Chattanooga’s Black professionals are invited to a celebration of community, culture, and connections. This free bimonthly series is designed by and created for all area Black professionals. February’s theme is Live in Red: Love in Black and includes an exploration of the Hunter’s new exhibitions, a “Black Love on Screen” trivia contest, and food from the Island Vibe and The Peach Cobbler Factory. All guests are encouraged to wear BPATH colors with a heavy emphasis on red! For questions please contact Adera Causey (acausey@huntermuseum.org). 

ABOUT // The Hunter Museum’s African American Audience Development Committee invites Chattanooga’s African American professionals to BPATH. This bimonthly series offers exclusive museum access, an opportunity to explore art by African American artists, and a chance to network and meet other professionals. Generously sponsored by Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, EPB, Coca-Cola Bottling United, and Chambers Welding. 

Black Professionals @ the Hunter

Screening of "Shared Legacies: The African American - Jewish Civil Rights Alliance" 

February 9 | 6-7:30 PM | Bessie Smith Cultural Center 

On February 9th in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, a documentary film “Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance,” will be shown at 6:00 pm in the Bessie Smith Performance Hall. “Shared Legacies,” tells the often-forgotten story of the coalition and friendship between the Jewish and African American communities during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Price: FREE 

Panel Discussion: "Disparities in Health and Healthcare among African Americans" 

February 16 | 6-7:30 PM | Bessie Smith Cultural Center 

On February 16th a panel discussion with African American physicians from the Mountain City Medical Society will be held at 6:00 pm in the Bessie Smith Performance Hall. The physicians will discuss the disparities in health and healthcare among African Americans. The event will be live-streamed at www.bessiesmithcc.org/bhm

Price: FREE 

VISION + VERSE: Jazz Age Nights

February 23 | 6:00 to 7:00 PM | The Hunter Museum of American Art 

Celebrate the creative spirit of jazz-age Harlem and Paris as creatives Kimmie J Soul, Ryan Deshawn Roberts and Erika Roberts reinterpret the choreography of Cab Calloway, the music of Ella Fitzgerald, and the poetry of James Baldwin, ending in a conversation about the role of community in the work of Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin. Free and open to all. 

Vision + Verse: Jazz Age Nights

LECTURE: "Chattanooga Black History" 

February 23 | 6 to 7:30 PM | Bessie Smith Cultural Center 

On February 23rd at 6:00 pm, in the Bessie Smith Performance Hall, Dr. Clark White “Deacon Bluz” and a guest will discuss Chattanooga African American history from the early years to today. This will be an interactive discussion with attendees and will be live-streamed at www.bessiesmithcc.org/bhm

Price: FREE 

Bessie Smith: Orchestrating the Blues 

February 27 | 7:30 PM | Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium 

Honoring the legacy of Blues legend Bessie Smith, who stood up for herself, her love, and her people when the voices were few: the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera (CSO), CSO Youth Orchestras (CSOYO), and a multitude of community choral groups team up to celebrate the Empress of the Blues on our annual Side-by-Side Concert! 
In this historic performance, the CSO and CSOYO will perform full orchestral arrangements of Bessie's music, commissioned by the CSO as part of the Bessie Smith: Orchestrating the Blues project. Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience a powerful performance highlighting the soulful voice, relatable music, and vibrant career of Bessie Smith! 
This performance will also spotlight compositions by other Black composers including widely celebrated local composer Roland Carter, and feature pieces that honor the defining contributions that Black artists have made and continue to make in American music, history, and culture. 

Price: Adult: $20, Student/Child: $10 

Bessie Smith: Orchestrating the Blues