Special event honoring Black culture to be held at Upstairs Artspace 

Published 1:02 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

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An event celebrating Black music, Black culture and Black beauty will take place at Upstairs Artspace on February 25 at 2 p.m.

The event’s featured speakers will include Tryon Mayor Pro Tem Chrelle Booker, Dr. Joseph Fox, Reverend Mildred Twitty, and TEDxTRYON speaker Tanisha Akinloye.  

Tanisha Akinloye and her mother, Rev. Mildred Twitty, will share stories of how spending time with Nina Simone’s mother, Rev. Mary Kate Waymon, influenced their lives. 

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Mayor Pro Tempore Chrelle Booker, born and raised in Nina Simone’s hometown of  Tryon, will highlight Nina’s powerful role as a Black activist, and Tryon’s very own Dr. Joseph Fox, the host, as he enlightens everyone with his knowledge, experiences and presence.

Legendary daughter of Tryon Nina Simone, her music, and her activism resonates through this town, and so too does her mother.  Reverend Mary Kate Waymon instilled warmth and love to those she met and mentored. The event will honor their impact, as it lives on in the music, in the lessons, in the connections of African-Americans as they blaze a trail through the world.

The event is sponsored by Akinloye’s non-profit Empowering Through Beauty, which has supported people in the South and Northeast by providing workshops, life skills, job skills, makeovers, and the unwavering hope that beauty can be found everywhere. Her TEDTALKS are accessible on youtube.

Upstairs Artspace is located at 49 South Trade St. in downtown Tryon.



Submitted by Anne Marie Donohue