PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The 4th annual Joint Legislative Black History Month Heritage Celebration will be held Tuesday, February 12, in the Senate Chamber at the State House.
The program, "The Fabric of Unity," will begin at the Rise of the Senate and House of Representatives around 4:30 p.m.
Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events and has been celebrated annually in February in the United States since 1976.
Joan Countryman, who was head of the Lincoln School in Providence from 1993 until her retirement in 2005, will present the keynote address.
Ms. Countryman served, from August 2006 to March 2007 as a consultant and founding head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, and then spent a year as leader of the Atlanta Girls' School. Prior to coming to Rhode Island, she served as assistant head for academic planning and director of studies at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.
The program will include several musical performances, including the National Anthem sung by Terrell Osborne, music/artistic director of Music One, and the African-American National Anthem, sung by Tony Johnson, director of the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement at the Rhode Island School of Design.
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Vaughn, pastor of St. James Baptist Church of Woonsocket, will offer the invocation and benediction.
The printed program for the celebration pays tribute to the current minority members of the General Assembly - six members of the House and two Senators - as well as the 19 former minority members of the state legislature.
The celebration program will be televised by Capitol TV (Channel 15 for Cox Communications and Full Channel, Channel 34 for Verizon).