(BAINBRIDGE)-----When the nation pauses to pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this often triggers organizers to finalize local plans set for February 20-23 in Bainbridge and Donalsonville, Georgia observing February as National Black History Month.
Next month's events will mark the 12th year return of the Phoenix Affaire RISE! Weekend in Bainbridge and the second year organizers plan to stage their so-called EMERGE!--- one-night-only--- event in nearby Donalsonville to help bring forth that city's often under-touted black history stories.
"As the saying goes, you've gotta start somewhere and I am pleased and proud that last year we at least started the ball rolling towards bringing Donalsonville's local black history out of the shadows of the city's huge storied past", says Rahn d. Fudge of San Francisco, Calif. who is a 1979 Bainbridge High School graduate but was actually born in Donalsonville.
An eclectic list of other events being planned for the four-day RISE! Weekend also include everything from a rare photography, artifacts and oral local black history exhibit, continued efforts to SAVE MT. ZION A.M.E. CHURCH through a special community fundraising campaign, a one-day sidewalk sale in downtown Bainbridge to an "Art In The Park" stroll event featuring the works of local African-American artists.
The well-known 'signature' event which helped give birth to the RISE! Weekend concept twelve years ago is the Phoenix Affaire fashion-theatre and supper club show----part of the local community entertainment landscape now since 1981 and always features local volunteer models who will "strut their stuff" on the catwalk for a cause.
Seemingly, no Black History Month event would be complete without a focus on the church. To that end, the four-day RISE! Weekend wraps up with its annual "Gospel In The Park" event on Sunday, February 23 which is free and open to the public and being planned for the newly-renovated Willis Park on the square in downtown Bainbridge. A foot-stomping, hand-clapping good time is almost guaranteed when the Chosen Messengers of Donalsonville take the stage to headline an afternoon of black gospel music provided by local choirs, bands and singers.
"We are hopeful to have great weather throughout the weekend and also hope any and everyone interested in attending our events will come out to support and join in the celebration because only working together can we truly rise", Fudge says encouragingly.
A detailed listing of events for the 12th Annual Phoenix Affaire RISE! Weekend including costs for ticketed events throughout the weekend will be released early next month.
For more information or to volunteer, please call 229.416.7586 .