The African American Heritage Society will be hosting its 20th annual Black Tie Event, virtually, on Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 6 p.m., according to a press release from the nonprofit.
The annual fundraiser, which supports AAHS and the McLemore House Museum, has typically experienced sellout crowds with over 725 guests in attendance. Due to COVID-19 and the desire to keep the community safe, the event will be virtual this year.
“So many people in our community have not missed this event throughout its 20-year history, so we wouldn’t want them to break their attendance record now,” a spokesperson representing organizers of the event said, offering encouragement to past participants.
The mission of AAHS is to chronicle the lives and contributions that African Americans have made and to preserve and protect African American heritage and history in the community. This year’s theme is “We Stand United.”
The organization has announced that Damani Keene and his wife, Ife, will serve as honorary chairs for this years’ event. Damani is a descendant of Mariah Reddick, whose family was enslaved at the Carnton Plantation before the Civil War. The great-grandson of Reddick, Keene chronicled his great-grandmother's story in his book, Clandestine, The Secret Life of Mariah Otey Reddick.
His wife is a contributing author to the story that holds significance to the rich African American history in Williamson County. Released in 2019 and available on Amazon, the novel tells the story of Damani’s great-grandmother’s life — a gracious lady of strength, determination and resolve — that will inspire and encourage present and future generations.
Williamson Medical Center is once again the presenting sponsor for the Black Tie Event. WMC has provided long-standing support since the founding of the African American Heritage Society.
Ticket sales are unlimited and are $25 per individual and $250 for a table of 10. Tickets purchased by Jan. 15 will be eligible for a chance to win prizes. There will also be prizes awarded for a best-dressed contest during the event. Participants will be able to order meals provided by Suzette’s Catering and Moe Better BBQ & Fish, to be picked up on the day of the event.
Donations to AAHS are tax-deductible and may be made online at mclemorehouse.com or by check, made payable to African American Heritage Society, and mailed to P. O. Box 1053, Franklin, TN 37065.