Jonathan Blanchard

Tennessee State University graduate Jonathan Blanchard is scheduled to perform a Black History Month concert at Cumberland University on Thursday, Feb. 13. SUBMITTED

Cumberland University will hold a pair of Black History Month events that will celebrate the Civil Rights Movement era and black history icons. 

Soul singer Jonathan Blanchard will perform a Black History Month tribute concert Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the university’s Heydel Fine Arts Center. 

Blanchard, also a songwriter, actor and self-described preserver of “the Negro Spiritual,” released “Freedom’s Soul …The Revolution” in 2013. 

Blanchard opened for ZZ Top, George Coleman and the late Bobby “Blue” Bland as Lucy E. Campbell was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. 

Blanchard learned to weave elements of his artistic nature into his style of delivery while obtaining a bachelor of science in commercial music and master of science in music education from Tennessee State University. 

The university’s Afro Student Organization will hold its fourth annual “A Wrinkle in Time” event Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Baird Chapel. 

The event will celebrate African-American icons with performances and presentation, and offer an opportunity for open conversation about police brutality and black-on-black crime in the United States. 

“I have been a part of Afro’s Black History Month event since I became a student at CU, and each year I have witnessed how much of an impact it has on our audience,” said Shaquillra Taylor, the organization’s president. “Our past attendees always comment on how much our event has inspired them in some way, and we’re hoping that this year’s event will do the same.” 

Afro has been at CU since 2016 and is made up of a group of students who work to provide a fun and safe environment for campus in discussions about issues affecting minorities. 

The event will include students’ dramatic readings, singing and live painting that are centered around current minority issues. Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick is scheduled to be the guest speaker.

Tickets are available online and at the door. Tickets for children 10 or younger are free. To RSVP, go to afroevent.rsvpify.com.

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