KINGSPORT — Centuries of accomplishments and pride culminate with multiple events celebrating Black History Month beginning tonight with a special dinner in Kingsport.
The V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex on 285 Louis St. will host a “Soul Food Gathering” beginning at 4 p.m. inside the Riverview Residents Community Room.
The banquet promises traditional soul food meal items ranging from the old-fashioned to new twists on tastes, and the event will last until the last diner is served.
A trip to history highlights Saturday’s event. “Get on the Bus with New Vision Youth” is an excursion from Kingsport to the site of the first African-American elementary school in Hawkins County, the Price Public School in Rogersville.
The bus is scheduled to depart from the Dobbins Center parking lot at 11:15 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Participants are asked to pack a lunch.
In March 1868, Alexander Fain, Jordan Netherland, Albert Jones and Nathaniel Mitchell purchased property for a schoolhouse specifically built for educating African Americans.
The original school was constructed from logs two years later and consisted of two classrooms. Then in 1923 following the demolishment of the original log dwelling, the current Price school — which contained two large classrooms, an assembly area, and chapel constructed of hand-fired brick — was opened and still stands today.
A bill was passed in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2000 to construct historical markers near the school’s grounds.
The festivities culminate Sunday with an event at St. Mark United Methodist Church at 929 Maple St. in Kingsport at 4 p.m.
Co-sponsored by Kingsport Parks and Recreation, the event features performances by the St. Mark Praise Team, Kingsley United Methodist Church, Full Gospel Mission Church, Tiara Jordan from Central Baptist Church, Hayden Thompson “Gospel Mime” from Bethel AME Zion Church, and the New Vision Youth Drama Team.