11th annual Sojourner Truth event Sunday in Florence
NORTHAMPTON — The 11th annual Sojourner Truth celebration will be held Sunday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the statue at the corner of Park and Pine Streets in Florence.
Two Sojourner Truth scholarship recipients will address the gathering: Renee LaFleur of Northampton High School, who will enroll at Wheaton College in the fall and is president of the NHS Best Buddies program, and Karina Linares of Amherst Regional High School, who heads to Holyoke Community College and has advocated for the rights of immigrant families. The celebration will also feature the first Sojourner Truth JFK Middle School award, to Alexus Brinson, who has been active with the Civil Rights Team at JFK.
The keynote address will be given by Whitney Battle-Baptiste, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
There also will be performances by BOMBA of Amherst Regional High School and local singer Carlie Lyster. BOMBA is an Afro-Puerto Rican ensemble of musicians, dancers and drummers from Amherst Regional. Lyster, a graduate of Northampton High, is a student at Northeastern University, where she is a member of the jazz ensemble and jazz and blues choir.
In addition, Enchanted Circle Theater will premiere the Sojourner Truth playbook and CD, with the theater’s executive artistic director, Priscilla Kane Hellweg, introducing the material.
A walking tour of Sojourner Truth’s Florence will take place before the celebration, starting at the statue at 12:30 p.m., with a reception after the ceremony at the David Ruggles Center, 225 Nonotuck St.