A community-wide Unity Walk will serve as a kick-off celebration for Black History activities in Claxton today beginning at noon.
The walk is intended to send a simple yet strong message of peace, freedom, joy, and unity, said Tarrie Powell, who is on the community planning committee for Black History activities.
Community organizations and church groups, led by area preachers, will walk through the community beginning at the Church Street School, ending at St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Powell said the group will stop to pray and sing, particularly in areas where drugs are prevalent.
The Unity Walk commemorates the marches that took place during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, she said.
Immediately following the Unity Walk, there will be a Black History Quiz Bowl at St. John's, she said, where teams from Claxton Middle and High Schools will compete.
Next week, a Black History Program will be held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at St. John Missionary Baptist Church beginning at 3 p.m.
With a national theme of "Blacks in the Civil War" for Black History month, Powell said the local theme is "African American Heroes: Honoring our own."
Powell said the Feb. 27 program will honor all those who served in the armed forces, and Retired 1st Sergeant Donnie Belser will be the guest speaker.
After joining the U.S. Army in 1976, Belser served in Korea and Germany. During one of three tours at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, he met and married his Claxton-native wife Phoebe Primous.
The couple's two sons followed in their father's footsteps becoming Captain Donnie R. Belser, Jr. and Sgt. Brandan Bleser.
On Feb. 10, 2007, the couple lost their son Donnie, Jr. while on his second tour in Iraq, his third deployment in the support of the global war on terrorism.
All are invited to participate in both events, sponsored by the Evans County Community Black History Planning Committee.
For more information, contact Tarrie Powell at (912) 481-3008.