African American Heritage Festival continues

Western Carolina University’s Department of Intercultural Affairs will host an African American Heritage Festival in honor of Black History Month in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center from Monday, Feb. 6, through Wednesday, Feb. 8.

On Feb. 6, events include a Langston Hughes lecture sponsored by the English and history departments from 2:30 to 3:40 p.m.; a presentation by the Rev. Victoria A. Casey-McDonald titled “A Pictorial History: African-Americans in Jackson County” from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; and a performance by blues singer Kat Williams with a special appearance by Ernest Johnson from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the festival continues with a presentation titled “From Band-Aids to Pipelines: Black Perspectives on the Education System” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and a presentation by the Western North Carolina AIDS Project titled “Telling Their Stories: HIV/AIDS Awareness in the Black Community” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The HIV/AIDS event is sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

The festival concludes Feb. 8 with Truthwriters’ spoken word presentation of “Reflections of Black History” from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and storyteller Obakunle Akinlana’s presentation “Memory, Narrative and Black Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The final presentation is sponsored by Last Minute Productions.

Each day, a walking exhibit related to the festival will be open in the Grandroom from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, send an email to or call 828-227-2276.