MORROW — Celebrate the Harlem Renaissance and the history of the NAACP on Feb. 16 at the Freedom Fund Harlem Renaissance Date Night. The event celebrates the nation’s most productive organization fighting for the causes of African Americans and all Americans who have not been given full access to the American dream due to discrimination.
The celebration with be a red-carpet event held at the Morrow Event Center near Southlake Mall in Morrow from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Attendees are invited to dress in their most dapper version of a “flapper” — ladies in beaded evening dresses, feather headbands, fringe wraps, and long pearls, and men wearing their gangster pinstripe suits, suspenders and fedoras.
The NAACP was founded on Feb. 12, 1909 in New York City by an interracial group of activists partially in response to the 1908 Springfield, Ill., race riot. The NAACP was also focused on stopping the many lynchings going on at the time.
Founding African-American members of the organization included W.E.B. Du Bois (sociologist and writer), Ida Wells-Barnett (journalist and educator) and Mary Church Terrell (one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree). Not long after the time the NAACP was founded, The Harlem Renaissance was in full swing. We will pay tribute to the many prolific black activists and artists of the time — trailblazers like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington, to name a few.
Part of the evening’s events will include a silent auction of artwork representative of the period, admittance into the Crisis Museum, which will display images of the “Crisis Magazine,” which was originally published by W. E. B. Du Bois. The “Crisis” is the voice and vision of the organization and chronicles the NAACP story from 1910 to today. Attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy entertainment, vendors, music and food.
In addition, the NAACP Clayton Branch will honor one of the Mothers of the Civil Rights Movement, Juanita J. Abernathy, with the newly established, “Amanda Davis – And Still, I Rise Award.” Attorney Ronnie Mabra and wife Dawn Mabra are the honorary chairs, and the Rev. Gail Ortega and Dr. Bridget Ortega are the honorary co-chairs.