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Friday January 31, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important." I believe that one cannot truly enjoy life and/or the quality of life that we have attained without appreciating and acknowledging the past. Knowledge is power and it's very important for everyone to understand where we all have come from. Multiple learning facilities exist in our community and invite residents as well as visitors to stop by and learn a few things from days gone by.

FAHIMartinsville-Henry County is the proud home of the FAHI African American Museum & Cultural Center, located at 211 West Fayette Street.  FAHI strives to collect, preserve and interpret African American experiences and community life in Martinsville-Henry County. The museum showcases exhibits on the local and national level. Local exhibits showcase over 100 years of history on Fayette Street and also include information and photos of influential, local members of the Black Community. The district continues to represent the commercial and institutional center of the African-American community in Martinsville as one of its oldest neighborhoods. The 42-acre district includes 116 historically contributing buildings with architecture reflective of a number of styles. The properties date between 1900 & 1957. The district was listed in both the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places in 2007. FAHI is open Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am-4pm and other times by appointment. To make an appointment or to schedule a tour, please call 276.732.3496.

The Bassett Historical Center, located on Fairystone Park Highway in Bassett, is also a great learning resource. With more than 25,400 artifacts and literature on display, you can spend the whole month exploring black history.  An interesting side note; rare genealogical documents found at the Bassett Historical Center helped researchers to discover that First Lady Michelle Obama's ancestors were from Henry County, VA.

Follow this link to learn about a few famous African-American Virginians.

Now that you know where you can go to learn more about local Black History, make plans to celebrate!

Join Piedmont Arts tomorrow for "African Tales Family Day at Piedmont Arts!"  This free, family-fun event will feature the talented, multi-award winning storyteller Donna L. Washington. Enjoy games, snacks and stories.  

Piedmont Arts is also proud to present Mr. Mike Wiley in "A Box Marked Freedom: The Story of Henry "Box" Brown" on Monday, February 10th. This one-man play will be at the Black Box Theatre on Franklin Street. Learn one Louisa County man's perilous story of escape from bondage.

Piedmont Arts will also be participating in the Twenty-Fifth National African American Read-In on Saturday, February 8th. This program celebrates African American authors and they will be honored by readings of their works.

Be sure to check our Events Calendar on a regular basis. More events added daily!

Click here to find more state-wide celebrations.

Tags: Bassett Historical Center, FAHI, Genealogy, Henry County, History, Insider's Tips, Martinsville, Museums, Piedmont Arts,