Friday, February 28, 2014

More Civic Revelry as Black History Month draws to a fulsome and frigid close.

If you are still working your schedule for tonight to decide whether to stop at Karamu’s mixer before or after stopping by the Cleveland NAACP Open House, there are yet several other civic worthy choices to add to the mix:

• Esperanza is launching its Alumni Association tonight at Pura Vida restaurant on Public Square. Esperanza raises funds to provide education, support and scholarships to Hispanic students in northeast Ohio.

Tonight’s event, which starts at 6PM and runs until 11PM, promises heavy hors d’oeuvres, valet parking and live music by Son Gitano. Tickets are $50 [$90/couple]. For more information, call 216.651.7178.

• A good option for the whole family is being offered by the Rockefeller Park Community of Opportunity & Equity, which is sponsoring this month’s Fourth Friday Family Film Night at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 8601 Wade Park Ave. Tonight’s offering is The Great Debaters, in honor of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the black youth who helped shape Black History in America.

Co-produced and directed by Denzel Washington, the film stars Washington along with his fellow Academy Award winner, Forrest Whitaker. Oprah Winfrey was also involved in the production.

Showtime is 7PM. The doors open at 6:30PM and refreshments are served. 
Questions? Call  216.231.7622.

• Finally, we would be remiss if we did not pause to note tonight’s retirement celebration for the Rev. Roland Hayes Crowder, who is retiring after 48 of service at Second Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, one of the early outposts of African American spirituality and culture on Cleveland’s west side.

I first encountered Rev. Crowder one summer when I was home from college and working at the old Parcel Postal Annex at the north end of West Ninth St. Even a callow fellow could not help but notice Rev. Crowder’s gracious bearing, and the gentle spirit of caring and concern for others he radiated even in that depressed environment.

The banquet in honor of his ministerial career begins at 6:30PM tonight at the Cleveland Airport Marriott on West 150 St. The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and former longtime pastor here at Antioch Baptist Church.


For more information, call 216.252.1050.


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