January 16, 2003 – Kensington, MD – The Washington DC Temple Visitors’ Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces its 3rd annual commemoration of Black Heritage Month with music, dance and cultural events every weekend from February 7- 27.  All events are free of charge.

The public is invited to join this celebration of the culture, contributions and heritage of African and African-American people. The Visitors’ Center, located at 9900 Stoneybrook Drive in Kensington, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Phone: 301-587-0144.

Exhibits include special items on loan from the Embassy of Ethiopia, cultural artifacts and native handiwork from several nations in Africa, and a family history display focusing on African-American genealogical research.

Events:

February 7 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, a Family History Conference cosponsored by the Montgomery County Historical Society and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will feature five workshops on African-American research presented by professional genealogists.  This event is free of charge but registration is required.

February 7 at 7:00 pm – “A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King,” a dramatization presented by James Lucas.

February 8 at 7:00 pm – His Excellency Kassahun Ayele, Ambassador of Ethiopia, will deliver remarks inaugurating the exhibit on loan from the Embassy of Ethiopia.  Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown, 1st African-American female General in the US military, will speak on “Triumphs and Challenges: You Can Do It!”

February 13 at 7:30 pm – Coyaba African Dance Group will perform traditional and spiritual-based African dances to the beat of native drums.

February 14 at 7:00 pm – Palmer Park Dancers will perform a lyrical of Jeff Majors “Psalm 23″ and a tap routine from “Bringin’ da noise, Bringin’ da funk.”  Dr. Jay Marciano of Montgomery College will present “Spiritual Roots of Jazz and American Popular Music.”

February 20 at 7:30 pm – “Expressions of African Culture:  Musical Instruments and Artifacts,” presented by Lawrence Thrash.

February 21 at 7:00 pm – “Hot Minus! The History of Music.” Hal Trapkin will present 100 years of music: ragtime, blues, boogie-woogie, jazz, rock n’roll, with a grand finale.

February 22 at 7:00 pm – “Honoring Excellence: Contributions of African-American Educators and Scientists,” by Dr, Thomas C. Battle, Howard University.

February 27 at 7:30 pm – An evening of gospel, soul and contemporary music with the St. James Community Choir, Solomon Sparrow, Director.

Call 301-587-0144 for further information about events and registration for the family history conference.