It should come as no surprise that during Black History Month there are a lot of events happening that explore black history.
That’s certainly the case over the next several days, where there are plenty of those happenings to chose from for those interested in learning more about the subject:
• For starters, on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 7 p.m., African American historian Rodney Dawson will be the featured speaker at the online meeting of the Greensboro Human Rights Commission. Anyone can attend the special event via Zoom. (The meeting ID is 894 2018 6295. Or to join by phone, you can call 301-715-8592 at the start.)
In this Black History Month installment of the Commission’s “Let’s Talk series,” Dawson will look back at the history of Black people in Greensboro and examine the progress the city has made on civil rights.
Dawson is a High Point native who was a decorated soldier in the US Army after serving in the Persian Gulf War. In addition to that service he’s volunteered with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the NC Humanities Council, and Dawson has held jobs as the Greensboro History Museum curator of education. He was the education specialist for the NC African American Heritage Commission.
Those with questions regarding the event can contact Commission Administrator Liz Lennon at 336-373-2038 for more info.
• That same evening, February 8, at 7:30 p.m., another event celebrating the month takes place at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in Greensboro – though this one isn’t free. In fact, it will set you back 70 or 80 bucks a person, in addition to whatever outrageous fee Ticketmaster is tacking on as usual.
As part of Guilford College’s “Bryan Series Presents” program at the Tanger Center, former astronaut Charles Bolden – the first African-American to serve as the administrator of NASA – will speak on “Dreaming Big: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Space Exploration.”
Bolden, who served as the 12th NASA Administrator from 2009 to 2017, was the first African American and only the second former astronaut to hold the position.
As the NASA administrator, he oversaw missions for the International Space Station and much more.
And as an astronaut, he was commander of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1992 and the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994.
His mentor in the space program was Ronald McNair, the NC A&T graduate and fellow South Carolinian who died in the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.
• For those who want something free and outdoors, there’s the CampOUT: Underground Railroad Educational Walk/Hike, which is being sponsored by the Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center.
The walk will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., starting at 5109 Ainsworth Drive in Greensboro.
This is a “family-friendly” guided walk of historical points related to the Underground Railroad in Greensboro, where slaves were smuggled to freedom.
Omar H. Ali – a historian of the global African Diaspora – will act as the guide and speak on the underground railroad’s history.