Gospel songs, art and the civil rights era

The Baltimore Sun

This issue of Unisun takes you on a photographic tour of social-scene events that include a Gospel performance by a choir from a historically black university, an art exhibit based on a character from the hit television show Good Times, and a conversation with the widow of a civil-rights leader who was in town during Black History Month.

Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir toured the East Coast last month and stopped by Edmondson High School and Heritage United Church of Christ in Baltimore. The group visited at the request of Tuskegee alumni in the Baltimore area.

The choir, under the direction of Wayne Barr, also stopped at churches and cultural centers in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. The tour ended March 6. We took pictures, but we know our readers enjoy video, too. Use the Web link provided to view clips.

The Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center played host to Everybody Loves Thelma & A Good Time art exhibit by Darrin Keith Bastfield. Bern Nadette Stanis, who played Thelma Evans on the 1970s show Good Times, was the inspiration for the exhibit.

The opening night in March included a discussion with Stanis about her role on the show and the impact it had on her life. There was also music and dancing.

Juanita Abernathy stopped by the Reginald F. Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture during February to talk about her late husband, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and his role as the right-hand man of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Abernathy was with King in Memphis when King was shot on April 4, 1968. He would succeed King as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Abernathy died at 64 in April 1990.

Juanita Abernathy shared what it was like for her and the couple's children to live through the civil rights era, a time in which their house was bombed and they endured constant threats of violence.


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