Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) will present multiple programs and events in observation of Black History Month this February.
MTCC will also begin a pilot program, “Black History Unboxed: Have History, Will Travel,” a hands-on learning program that mails 50 boxes filled with activities and Black history lessons to students. The program aims to teach families about the contribution of African Americans to the transportation industry and about STEM topics related to transportation. Families work through lessons about the Tuskegee Airmen, flight, the Pullman Porters, navigation, The Negro Motorist Green Book and trip planning.
MTCC recently acquired an $18,200 grant through The Bridge Fund Endowment, a fund of the Arkansas Community Foundation, which made the program possible. The activity boxes will be delivered to families in February as part of Black History Month.
MTCC has partnered with Loblolly Creamery to sell “Maple Leaf Ragtime,” a maple-pecan ice cream that pays homage to Scott Joplin, who grew up in Texarkana. Joplin was an African American composer famous for his original ragtime pieces, one of his most popular being the “Maple Leaf Rag.”
Loblolly will donate a portion of all sales of Maple Leaf Ragtime during February to MTCC. The special flavor will be available at Loblolly throughout February and March.
2021 Black History Month Programs include:
- Storytime with Director Christina Shutt – 7 p.m. every Thursday in February on Facebook Live and MTCC’s YouTube channel
Director Christina Shutt will read a different story related to history or culture each Thursday night of Black History Month.
- Lunch & Learn with Marquese McFerguson – noon Friday, Feb. 12, on Facebook Live
Poet Marquese McFerguson, who is the MTCC artist for Black History Month, will talk about his poetry collection written for 2021 Black History Month and give insight into his process.
- Black History Quiz Bowl – For sixth through eighth graders, 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20; for ninth through 12th graders, 12 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20
The Arkansas Black History Quiz Bowl Association, The Black History Commission of Arkansas and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will present the 2021 Black History Quiz bowl. The event is hosted by Frank Bateman with study material provided by MTCC. A study guide is available to anyone interested in participating and will be available for download. The virtual Quiz Bowl will be held via an MTCC online platform.
- Lunch & Learn with Ed Drew – noon Friday, Feb. 26, on Facebook Live
Photographer Ed Drew, whose artwork is featured in the MTCC exhibition “We Hold These Truths: American Veterans of Arkansas,” will talk about the inspiration behind his work and the process he uses when capturing images using daguerreotype and cyanotype. The exhibition will be up throughout February.
- Figuratively Speaking – 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, Facebook Live
MTCC has collaborated with the Arkansas Arts Council, a sister agency under Arkansas Heritage, to create a spoken-word poetry night showcasing Arkansas poets’ original work related to Black history. Marquese McFerguson, the MTCC Black History Month artist, is the featured artist. Up to eight other poets will be performing. The event is hosted by Drekkia Morning, a poet who is also the Arts in Education Program manager for the Arkansas Arts Council.
- Trailblazer Spotlight – Every day during February, MTCC will release a new poster that highlights different African Americans from Arkansas. The posters will be available as pdfs for download online.
Black History Month is an important time to recognize African American contributions in Arkansas and nationwide, but Black history is year-round. MTCC offers educational resources, including The Periodic Table of Black History on notable Black Arkansans, 365 days a year. Posters also are available by emailing education@
For more Black history, visit MTCC from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays or follow us on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
About Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum of Arkansas Heritage, is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating African American history and culture in Arkansas. Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum and Old State House Museum are also parts of Arkansas Heritage, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.