The Ross County NAACP will celebrate Black History Month with a special program that will explore the concepts of spiritual music and dance. The event will take place on Thursday, February 16th beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Annex building, located at the rear of the Chillicothe Ross County Public Library's main Paint Street branch.
“Our theme this year is “Black Resistance: Songs of Freedom,” said Ross County NAACP President, Adrienne D’Souza. “We know that back in the slave days, and even now, music can be very powerful, and acts to help us through things.”
D'Souza says February's musical celebration will be the first in-person Black History Month event held by the Ross County NAACP since the start of the COVID pandemic. She says the event will offer attendees a handful of performances from a variety of local choral and dance troupes.
"We’re going to have around four different singing groups from the community that will be performing around a couple songs each,” said D’Souza. “There’s also going to be dance group performing what’s known as Praise Dancing, or Expressive Dancing.”
One of the featured performances at the February 16th event will come from a local dance troupe that Adrienne says specializes in a genre of dance known as spiritual dancing.
“There’s a group primarily from the Church of Deliverance on High Street, headed by a woman named Peggy Patterson who’s been practicing Praise Dancing for years,” said D’Souza. “She has formed a group where she mentors other dancers, and they travel all over the place performing Praise Dancing.”
The singing groups set to perform at February's Black History Month celebration include Chillicothe's Community Male Chorus, as well as choral groups from Chillicothe's Quinn Chapel and First Baptist churches. Another performance during the February 16th event will come from a choir called "Unified," which D'Souza said is comprised of parishioners from some of the different African American churches around the Ross County area.