A program titled "Lest We Forget: Preserving African American Culture and History" will be held Feb. 26-28 in both Nacogdoches and Lufkin in celebration of African American History Month.

The program will be hosted jointly by the Department of History at Stephen F. Austin State University, the Nacogdoches African American Heritage Project, Long's Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the East Texas Historical Association. The public is invited to attend the three-day event, which will highlight the preservation of African American history and culture. Admission is free.

Activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center at SFA. The evening will include traditional African American hymns by the Long's Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Choir of Lufkin, as well as performances by the Nacogdoches Total Praise Team and the Children of Promise of Grayland Baptist Church of Douglass.

The program will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Court Carney of the SFA Department of History titled "Preserving African American History in Texas." Panel participants will include Marion Upshaw of the Nacogdoches African American Heritage Project; higher education civil rights pioneer Joe L. Atkins of Dallas; Theodore Lawe, founder and curator of the A.C. McMillan African American Museum in Emory; and Robert Edison, social studies coordinator for the Dallas Independent School District.

On Friday, Feb. 27, Long's Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will host a "brown bag lunch" program titled "Church and School: Forming African American Identity." Lacey Chimney, chair of the Steward Board at Long's Chapel, will speak on "Education in the African American Community," and Charity Rakestraw, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alabama and adjunct faculty member in SFA's history department, will present "United by Faith, Separated by Color: Black Churches, Community and American Culture." Long's Chapel is located at 304 Whitehouse Drive in Lufkin.

The program will close Saturday, Feb. 28, with The Rev. Clarence E. Glover Jr. presenting "African American Faith and Freedom: A Sankofa Journey" in the Baker Pattillo Student Center theatre at SFA. Glover, the executive director of multicultural education for Dallas public schools, is one of America's most respected voices on issues pertaining to African American history and culture, intercultural relations and racism. Glover's presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature a screening of his documentary film work.

The event is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, a state partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities, along with the support and cooperation of the East Texas Historical Association. For more information, please call the East Texas Historical Association at (936) 468-2407 or e-mail sosebeem@sfasu.edu.