Celebrate Black History Month


In December 2020, Mayor Vivian Jones visited the homes of Dianne Laws, Evelyn Jones and Roger Shackleford where she read proclamations recognizing each one for their contributions to our community. Staff video recorded these presentations which were shown during the regular Board of Commissioners meeting on January 19, 2021.

Evelyn Jones
Dianne Laws
Roger Shackleford

Black History Month Honor RollBlack History Month Honor Roll

The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) is celebrating Black History Month in 2021 by giving you the chance to recognize local African Americans who have made a difference enhancing and improving the quality of life in their community, family, church, business or other group.

From now through Saturday, Jan. 23, the HRC is soliciting nominations in several categories, including educator, actor, healthcare worker, business owner, frontline worker, musician and politician – just to name a few. The online nomination form is now available.

Wake Forest residents (living or deceased), former residents, and business and community stakeholders are eligible. Nomination narratives describing the individual’s contributions should be 400 words or less.

Nominees should demonstrate leadership and integrity and be respected by their peers. In addition, potential nominees may, for example, help neighbors and fellow Wake Forest citizens in some way, demonstrate hospitality and concern for others, support local businesses and charities, promote a sense of community in their neighborhood and beyond, or serve the community through their school, church, business or community organization.

The HRC will review the nominations and select a different Wake Forest African American to honor each day in February. Honorees will be recognized on the Town of Wake Forest Facebook page and Town website.

Nomination Form


Art That ReflectsWake Forest Renaissance Centre Presents "Art That Reflects"

“Art That Reflects” is a series of virtual performances that pay tribute to the diversity and artistry of African American culture. Offering an outstanding lineup that includes storytelling and theater, as well as vocal, music and dance, the series will be available for free streaming on the Renaissance Centre website and Facebook and YouTube pages.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m. – Donna Washington (Storyteller)

Donna Washington (storytelling) is an internationally known, multiple award-winning storyteller, spoken word recording artist, and author. She received the 2002 Parent’s Choice Award for her first independent recording “Live and Learn: The Exploding Frog and Other Stories.” Washington has shared her stories at thousands of venues throughout the country. She will delight you with her stories in this virtual presentation.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. – Aya Wallace (vocalist and dancer)

Aya Wallace is a theatre artist, choreographer, and dance educator. Currently she serves as Adjunct Ballet Professor for North Carolina Central University. Wallace is a triple threat: singer, actor and dancer. She has an impressive resume including performances with Justice Theater Project, Raleigh Little Theatre, Li V Mahob Productions and Wake Forest’s own Forest Moon Theater. Wallace will perform a vocal presentation for this series.  

Saturday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. - Brightstar Touring Theatre presents “Let it Shine: American Civil Rights Movement"

Brightstar Touring Theatre will present the national touring production of “Let it Shine: American Civil Rights Movement,” an honest and accessible portrayal of the American struggle for civil rights.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m. – Willie Hinton (dancer)

Willie Hinton is a dance instructor for City Ballet Raleigh and Willtown Children’s Theater. In addition, Hinton is a company dancer at Philadanco - The Philadelphia Dance Company. He studied at the American Dance Festival and at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. – Eugene Taylor (drumming)

Wake Forest resident and "Drum Prophet" Eugene Taylor uses drums to entertain, teach and heal. He shares his talents and music to touch the lives of the patients he routinely transports at UNC Rex Healthcare.

Learn More


HPC WebinarsBlack History Month Webinars

The Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission is partnering with the Wake Forest Historical Museum to offer a series of Zoom webinars on African American history in our community and state. On Mondays, Feb. 1, 8 and 22, the public is invited to attend the Zoom webinars online or by phone. 

February 1, 6 p.m.

Adrienne Nirde, Associate Director at NC African American Heritage Commission (NCAAHC),  will discuss the mission of the NCAAHC and the Freedom Roads Initiative.

February 8, 7 p.m.

Michelle Michael, Senior Planner for Historic Preservation, and special guest Ricardo Young will discuss the Preservation of the Ailey Young House and site, a rare African American historical resource.

February 22, 7 p.m.

Dr. Sean Colbert-Lewis, Associate Professor of History and Director of Teacher Education for the History Department, NC Central University

There is no cost to participate, but registration is encouraged. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information, contact Senior Planner Michelle Michael at mmichael@wakeforestnc.gov.


Celebrate Black History Month
Communications & Public Affairs Director