WKCTC Celebrates Black History Month
By WestKyStar & WKCTC Staff
PADUCAH - PADUCAH - West Kentucky Community and Technical College will celebrate Black History Month with several events beginning February 2nd.

First, the college's Student Art & Design Club will host a special art installation recognizing the legacy of notable African-Americans from Paducah. The art installation called, "Defining Paducah: Honoring the Outstanding Legacy of Local African Americans," will feature portraits of notable African Americans from Paducah's rich history.

A special unveiling of the portrait exhibit will be held Saturday, Feb. 2 at 203 Broadway in Paducah at 3 pm. A reception with speakers and refreshments will follow at the Yeiser Art Center at 200 Broadway until 5 pm. The portraits will remain on display on the windows at the 203 Broadway location throughout February. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

WKCTC's Diversity and Inclusion office will host Wake Up to Diversity: Voices to Value Black History Celebration Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 am in the Anderson Technical Building, Room 113. Presenters: Paducah Police Department African-American police officers. Wake Up to Diversity conversations are held on the first Wednesday of each month.

Artist and educator Najjar Abdul-Musawwir will be exhibiting and speaking about his work at WKCTC's Clemens Fine Arts Center Saturday, Feb. 9.

A drawing, painting and core curriculum professor at Carbondale's Southern Illinois University, Abdul-Musawwir will be speaking about the "State of Triple Consciousness" during a free opening reception for his exhibit from 6-8 pm. Abdul-Musawwir will speak briefly about his work at 6:30 pm in the college's Student Center, located just outside the Clemens Gallery.

A Showcase of Talent will be held in the WKCTC Student Center on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 11 am. The event, which is hosted by EM-P.O.W.E.R. student organization will feature local vocalists Amanda Henderson and Paris Jones and poet Samuel "Snacks" Hawkins.
Mavis Staples will perform on the Clemens Fine Arts Center stage Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 pm. 

Staples is best known for her extensive gospel career with her family, The Staples Singers. She sang with family for her first paying gig at Holy Trinity Baptist Church in 1948, moving over time from the gospel circuit to radio and eventually even to stadium shows, collecting a number one hit along the way and adding almost every musical form to her repertoire. She has performed with Bob Dylan, Booker T., Ray Charles, and The Band, among many others, and has had music written for her by everyone from Prince and Nick Cave to Neko Case. Her voice has been sampled by some of the biggest selling hip-hop artists, including Salt 'N' Pepa, Ice Cube and Ludacris. Staples has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. Tickets for the show can be purchased online at or by calling Julie Moore at 270-534-3212. Adults - $30, students and children - $15.

The Hotel Metropolitan - Paducah in collaboration with the WKCTC Diversity and Inclusion office will host the 12th Annual Grandma's Recipes Black History Celebration event Saturday, Feb. 23 from 11 am - 2 pm at McNabb Elementary School, 2100 Park Ave. Guests can enjoy samplings of different cultural and authentic soul food recipes. Event cost: adults - $7; children 12 and under - $3. Contact: Betty Dobson 270-443-7918 or Chiffon Winston 270-709-4145 for more information.

WKCTC's Diversity and Inclusion office and Student Government Association have partnered with Maiden Alley Cinema to present the movie, The First Grader Thursday, Feb. 28. 

The film is based on the true story of Kimani Maruge, a Kenyan farmer who enrolled in elementary school at the age of 84 following the Kenyan government's announcement of free universal primary education in 2003. The film's epilogue displays a series of graphics stating that at age 84, Maruge is the oldest person to start primary school according to the Guinness Book of World Records. He was also invited to speak before international leaders at the United Nations in New York regarding the power of education. Maruge, who died in 2009, inspired a new generation of people to go to school for the first time.

A free reception on February 28, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:15 - 5:45 pm. The film begins at 6 pm. Tickets: adults - $7.75; senior citizens (65+) - $5.75; and children and students - $5.25.

For more information about the Black History Month events, contact Chevene Duncan-Herring, WKCTC diversity and inclusion director, at 270-534-3209 or

Published 10:12 PM, Monday Jan. 28, 2019
Updated 10:21 PM, Monday Jan. 28, 2019