North Decatur is charging up once again to offer its bi-annual Chautauqua, this time highlighting African American Achievements.
The event is slated for the evening of May 12 and throughout the day on May 13. The Thursday evening event will begin at 6 p.m. with an opportunity for photos and autographs with Susaye Green, Stars of the Negro League Henry "Bird" Clark and Nate "BoBo" Smalls, John Stokes, Freedom Riders and Governor Davis. At 7 p.m., the event will honor the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders with three riders on hand. Susaye Greene was the last member of the Supremes, having performed with Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. She will be featured at 7:45 p.m. Governor Davis and The Blues Ambassadors, Indianapolis' most popular blues band, will take to the stage at 8:45 p.m.
The daytime event on Friday will continue to highlight African American Achievements, beginning at 8:15 a.m. with Henry Clark and Nate "BoBo" Smalls who played baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs and Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro League. At 9:09 a.m., the tone will shift as Deandre Johnson of the Underground Railroad National Office speaks. Indianapolis Star reporter and columnist Erika Smith will take to the podium at 10:04 a.m. followed by George Taliaferro. He was the first African American to play in the Big 10 and be drafted to the National Football League. At 11:22 a.m., one of the original plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education landmark case, John Stokes, will tell his story in the North Decatur Library.
After lunch, the day's events will head off of the school's campus with three Freedom Riders taking to Decatur County's Freedom Trail. Busses will head to area Underground Railroad landmarks.
"I am amazed by the opportunity being provided to our students and community," Decatur County Community Schools superintendent Dr. Dan Roach noted of the event.
Future Daily News stories will further highlight the day's events, which are organized by teacher John Pratt and students in his classes.