Mayor Jacobs to Recognize Black History Month Throughout February

In February, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs will recognize Black History Month by interviewing several notable African American Knoxvillians.

“These have been some incredible conversations,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Knox County has such a rich history that should be celebrated.”

The installments of this video series will air on Wednesdays on the county and Mayor’s various social media platforms.

The first, which will be released Feb. 8, features Hallerin Hill—a Knoxville radio and TV host, writer, singer, songwriter, producer, teacher, and trainer. You’ll find him on air every afternoon from 3-7 p.m. on WOKI-FM and on his WVLT-TV Channel 8 show Anything is Possible.

The second, which will be released Feb. 22, is with Vine Middle School teacher Clarence Swearengen. Besides a long career in education, Swearengen founded Real Talk Mentoring, Inc., which encourages and empowers young people with real, realistic, and relational discussions of shared life experiences. (He also scored the first basket in a game in Thompson Boling, played in the NBA and in Europe, and served as athletic coordinator for Tennessee men’s basketball.)

Knox County Public Libraries will also offer several programs across the system in celebration of Black History Month. Some kid’s story times will also celebrate African American contributions to art and literature.

Music on the Mezzanine: Life in the Key of Blues features world-renowned jazz pianist Eric Reed. The final sessions of his lecture/performance series that explores the history of the blues will take place at 2 p.m. on Feb. 5 and Feb. 12 at Lawson McGhee Library (500 W. Church Avenue).

The Up for Discussion series focuses on William Faulkner’s Intruder in the Dust. Published in 1948, the book is still considered a bold and unflinching statement on racism. Dr. Thomas Haddox, UT Professor of English, will lead discussions at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Cedar Bluff Branch Library (9045 Cross Park Drive); at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26 at Lawson McGhee Library; and at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Fountain City Branch Library (5300 Stanton Road).