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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Local and International Speakers Headline Black History Programs

February 9, 2011

An international view of Black History will be presented to Motlow communities this month as the college hosts three guest speakers and performers who were born as nearby as Lincoln County, Tenn. and as far away as Malawi, Central Africa.
Headlining the performances are Lewis Curtis, of Fayetteville, a Buffalo Soldier; Todd Suttles of Murfreesboro, actor and singer; and Masankho Banda, of Malawi, Central Africa, an international dancer and peace activist, according to Brenda Cannon, director of student and campus relations.  All performances are free and open to the public.
"This year's Black History Month programs provide a range of diversity that everyone can appreciate and enjoy," Cannon said. "Our audiences will hear personal stories from local unsung heroes to an international presenter. Although their stories differ, their plights are the same. The programs are a collaborative effort of Motlow's Student Affairs Unit and International Education Committee."
Curtis, a World War II veteran, will speak at 11 a.m. on Feb. 15, at Motlow's Fayetteville Center. A Lincoln County native, born in the Lewis Curtif of FayettevilleDelrose community, Curtis will reflect about his life as a young boy and his service in the United States Army's Colored 24th infantry, which eventually became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The presentation will include his perspective on the transformation from segregation to integration and its impact on the political and social processes. Recognizing Curtis' accomplishments and contributions to the nation and local community, the city of Fayetteville recently named a street in his honor.
Todd Suttles, singer and actor, will present a public performance of "Songs that Brought Us" at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Marcum Technology Center, 105 complex, on the Moore County campus. View the flyer. His 60-minute production takes the audience on a journey through the history of African American music and its impact on society. The solo performance opens with the story of one of the oldest Negro spirituals written, followed by a moving rendition of Ole Man River. The play moves forward, capturing music from the 1930s to the present. The pianist is William Richardson.
Suttles, who is a fitness expert and music and theatre enthusiast, has performed with numerous high profile artists, including gospel legend Walter Hawkins, Martina McBride, Grammy Award winner Tim O'Brien, Kathy Mattea, Steven Curtis Chapman, Moody Blues, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra.Todd Suttles

Suttles earned a master's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is employed as the assistant director of campus recreation at Vanderbilt University. He has trained more than 100 professional athletes and has coached at MTSU and Vanderbilt. He is a member of the celebration arts team at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro.

Complete details of Masankho Kamsisi Banda's performances at all Motlow sites the week of February 22-25 will be announced next week according to Jeannie Brown, coordinator of International Education at Motlow. For more information on Black History activities, contact Cannon at 931.393.1548 or or Brown at 800.654.4877, ext. 1730 or