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Public invited to honor the 400 year anniversary of the African American journey to America

The public is invited to 400 Years, a weekend honoring the African-American journey in America. 

It has been 400 years since the first slave ships arrived in 1619, and the weekend is a look at the contributions made by African-Americans during the years since then. 

“This is a diverse event,” said event coordinator Yvonne Lopez. “We want the whole community coming together in unity and healing.” 

Most events are free and all are welcome. On Friday, local artist Anne Green’s paintings will be on display. She is a yarn artist, creating pictures with yarn. A free reception for the artist and a viewing of her work will be at the LaGrange Art Museum, located at 112 Lafayette Parkway, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 19. Saturday begins with workshops, and ends that evening with a gala hosted by former WSB news anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson. The five workshops are free, and all run from 9 a.m. until noon at the Callaway Center. Participants can choose from the following workshops:

  • 4 A walk through history – Oliver Green with photos of Troup County’s history, and an exhibit of Anne Green’s art.    
  • 4Improving law enforcement’s relationship with diverse communities – hosted by the LaGrange Police Department
  • 4Intergenerational trauma – by Dr. Kelly Veal and Zsa Zsa Heard
  • 4Tracing our heritage: What happens When descendants of enslaved and enslaver meet – a panel 
  • 4The apology – members of city government, Troup Together, and representatives of the Callaway family. 

The gala will also be at the Callaway Center from 6 until 10 p.m. Monica Pearson will emcee the evening, which includes music, speakers, food and a silent auction. Artist Anne Green has donated two paintings for the auction.

The weekend wraps up Sunday, Oct. 20 with a free gospel concert at LaFayette Square at 3 p.m. 

 “We want this event to be one of many to come,” Lopez said. 

“It is a time for us to come together and be intentional about healing race relationships. We will be learning more about each other and enjoying ourselves while we do it.”