Natchitoches To Honor Black History Month

Natchitoches300thNATCHITOCHES, LA – The Tri-Centennial celebration for the oldest city in Louisiana is in full swing! Commemorative events celebrating Natchitoches’ Tri-Centennial will continue in February honoring Black History Month.

Black history and heritage of Natchitoches are celebrated in February with events that define the history and culture of African Americans. Planned activities throughout the month include parades, gospel performances, concerts and a tribute to Clementine Hunter, an internationally known folk artist born at Melrose Plantation.

Friday, February 7, 2014
7:00 p.m. Freedom is Coming: Songs of Freedom, Resistance &  the Underground Railroad Concert by  the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Location: Asbury Methodist Church, 704 5th Street

Saturday, February 8, 2014
10:00 a.m.   Historic Walking Tour of National Historic Landmark District
Park Rangers from Cane River Creole National Historical Park will offer guided walking tours of downtown Natchitoches.  Tours will begin at Natchitoches Historic Foundation Building at 550 Second Street.

10:00 a.m. –4:00 p.m.  ‘Making a Mark’ Exhibit featuring Clementine Hunter
Never-before-seen art will be on display to communicate Clementine Hunter’s role and influence as a celebrated African American artist. Location: Lemee House, 310 Jefferson Street

12:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m. The Life & Times of Marie-Therese “Coin Coin”
A monologue by Betty Roque reflecting on the life of Marie-Therese “Coin Coin”, the matriarch of the Creole community. Location: Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, 155 Jefferson Street

2:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.  Natchitoches Arts Gallery Exhibit
An exhibit featuring art by Natchitoches Central High School students.
Location: Natchitoches Arts Gallery, 584 Front Street

2:30 p.m. ‘Black Fire: 147 Years of Black Methodism in Natchitoches Parish
An exhibit and presentation featuring the influence on Black Methodism in Natchitoches Parish.  Location: Asbury Methodist, 704 5th Street

5:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m.  ‘Live Musical Entertainment by Hardrick Rivers
Location: On the riverbank of Cane River Lake in Downtown Natchitoches

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
10:00 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Lights Out in Blackham Preview
In 1966, Beryl Shipley, former coach of University of Southwest Louisiana, became the first coach to integrate his athletic team in the Deep South.  Filmmaker Douglas Domingue will preview Shipley’s role in Louisiana sports history. Location: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest History  Museum, 800 Front Street, Natchitoches

Saturday, February 22, 2014
9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.  Gospel Music Workshop
Workshops will be held to discuss the power of gospel music at the Abundant Life Church at 618 Ben Drive in Natchitoches.

2:00 p.m. Taste of Culture African American Heritage Parade
The parade lines up at Trudeau & Martin Luther King Street, it will travel up MLK to Amulet, down Amulet turning left on Jefferson Street, then left onto Church Street and  arriving at Fifth Street & back down Trudeau to MLK Street.

Sunday, February 23, 2014
5:00 p.m.  Gospel Concert featuring Thomas Dorsey, The Hawkins Family & Kirk Franklin
Location: Abundant Life Church 618 Ben Drive, Natchitoches

All Tri-Centennial events are open to the public, and most events are free.  Over a-hundred Tri-Centennial commemorative events are planned in Natchitoches, Louisiana throughout 2014. For a complete list visit or call 1-800-259-1714.

About Natchitoches:  Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory established in 1714 by French soldier Louis Juchereau de St. Denis.