Hopkinsville commemorating Black history with pop-up shop, brewery event
Various organizations in Hopkinsville are celebrating Black History Month with an array of events from a pop-up shop to a brewery presentation.
A pop-up shop hosted by TPerry Events will land at 1720 Dawson Springs Road in Hopkinsville on Feb. 19. Owner Tina Perry said this commemoration Black History also coincides with the opening of her crafts shop at the same location, born out of her propensity for photography, painting and jewelry-making.
The event will feature about 20 vendors from Kentucky and Tennessee — mostly offering crafts and food — as well as some published children’s book authors. The Black History Month component will take the form of informational pamphlets distributed to attendees, written by a local man who Perry said is highly educated on the subject.
“There’s so much stuff that’s been buried in this country,” Perry said. “So I think that we need to open up that dialogue, try to educate people to educate themselves as it comes to Black history.”
Born in New York, Perry is a minister and domestic violence advocate who started organizing conferences when she moved to Clarksville from South Carolina in 2017. She said she initially felt called to deliver a message about children who live in violent homes, and eventually ran other events to raise money for her ministry.
Perry said Black history is American history and should be treated as such, encouraging people to read and share information with others to keep the proverbial flame from dying out.
“A lot of people may change their thoughts on a lot of things — especially when it comes to racial interaction — through the history,” she said.
History at the brewery
The Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County will host “History on Tap: Hoptown & the Civil Rights Movement” at the Hopkinsville Brewing Company on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. CST, where Executive Director Alissa Keller will detail integration in Hopkinsville using archived newspapers and oral history interviews.
“A lot of times, when we think about history in and of itself, it’s stuff we didn’t live through, and there are definitely people still in Hopkinsville who lived through these events and this transitional period,” Keller said. “It’s something that’s not as well documented as some other things that we tend to focus on, so I thought it was a fantastic time and opportunity to look into those stories as much as I could.”
Keller said the presentation will examine national history “through the Hopkinsville lens,” an example being mentions of Hopkinsville residents attending the March on Washington in a newspaper from 1963.
“I never found if they went and what their experiences were, but I love how the story of Hopkinsville ties into that bigger, national narrative,” she said.
This comes in addition to “comprehensive and inclusive” museum exhibits where residents can learn more about the community as a whole. Keller said an exhibit about Black physician Philip Brooks — who opened a hospital in Hopkinsville in the 1940s — ties particularly well into the Black History Month theme of “health and wellness.”
“I think the only thing I’d ever heard was, ‘It wasn’t that bad here,’ but from whose perspective?” Keller said, noting there weren’t riots or major sit-ins. “But still, this was a process that was hard — very hard. What were those experiences like, and how did the community absorb that, and what we have done from there, too?”
Jack Glazier’s book “Been Coming Through Some Hard Times” — a historical account of race relations in Christian County — also laid “launching points” for the presentation. Next month’s “History on Tap” presentation will focus on Hopkinsville native bell hooks.
While the 30th annual Black History Trivia Bowl slated for Feb. 19 was canceled due to the school closures and severe weather events occuring in the past two months, the Hopkinsville Human Resources Commission is hosting a “Social Reading Room” in its wake.
Following their dissection of “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care” by Dayna Bowen Matthew, the club will read “All About Love” by bell hooks and discuss it at the museum on Mar. 10 at 5:30 p.m. CST.
Hopkinsville also offers an independent cell phone tour of local Black history landmarks. Interested individuals can dial into the tour at 270-854-3056 and follow along via online tour cards.