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African American Salute is Sunday in Henry

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A variety of performers are slated to take the stage in Henry County this weekend for a Black History Month program sponsored by a former state senator.

The African American Salute is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m., at the Henry County Performing Arts Center, 37 Lemon St., in McDonough. The event will include singing, dancing, spoken-word presentations and a tribute to President Barack Obama.

The program is being sponsored by the Gail Davenport Foundation, founded by and named for the former state senator from Jonesboro. Davenport said the occasion is designed to teach young people about the struggles and triumphs of black people in America.

"African Americans have contributed greatly to society, and our accomplishments are many," said Davenport. "It's important for children to learn that."

The celebration will feature the children of the Moore Arts Ministry music theater company, as well as readings by poet Hank Stewart, founder of the Five Men on a Stool performance group. God's Chosen, a Jonesboro-based dance group, will also perform.

Davenport called Obama a "great mentor" for children. She believes the 44th president sends a strong message to young people about the values of hard work and dedication.

"They can see how important it is to study hard and be excellent in school, with no limitations," she said. "They can look at what he's done and say to themselves, 'If he can do it, I can too.'"

Admission to the event is free. For more information, call Davenport at (770) 478-7916