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Springfield-Greene County Park Board News

Posted on: February 1, 2021

Timmons Hall marks Black History Month with Feb. 5-6 events

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SPRINGFIELD, MO – The Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s Timmons Hall hosts two events in February marking Black History Month.

University of Missouri-Columbia associate professor Dr. LaGarrett King presents “Rethinking Black History Month,” a workshop aimed at helping communities learn a new framework to become more intentional about teaching Black history in schools, libraries and other spaces. The presentation is Friday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The presentation, the first in Timmons Hall’s 2021 Brown Bag Lunch series, will be livestreamed on the City of Springfield’s Facebook page @CityofSGF and available at AfricanAmericanHeritageTrailSGF.org. Limited in-person participation is available by RSVP at 417-864-1046. 

“I couldn’t be more excited about bringing this distinguished guest speaker, Dr. LaGarrett King, to Springfield,” said Christine Peoples, Timmons Hall Coordinator.  “It is truly an honor. At Timmons Hall, we are intentional on raising the bar in education, history and cultural programming.”

King is an associate professor of social studies education and a founding director at the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education at MU, which leverages history educators, social studies teachers, community educators, policy makers and other advocates to transform Black history education in today’s public, private and homeschooled environments. King received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin after an eight-year teaching career in Georgia and Texas. His primary research interest examines the teaching and learning of Black history in schools and society. He also researches critical theories of race, teacher education, and curriculum history.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, 3 p.m., Timmons Hall premiers People’s play, “The Assignment,” featuring Emmy-award-winning Dr. Carmaletta Williams in the role of author, anthropologist and folklorist Zora Neal Hurston. The play tells the story of a college student named Tracie who is struggling to complete a project for an African American Studies class. Limiting in-person seating is available by RSVP at 417-864-1046. The play will be recorded for future viewing. 

Williams won an Emmy in 2015 for her portrayal of Hurston in "Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III," produced in cooperation with Kansas City Public Television. She has also performed a one-woman play, "Zora Neale Hurston: Queen of the Harlem Renaissance," throughout the Midwest. Williams retired from a 28-year career teaching English and African-American Studies at Johnson County Community College, in Overland Park, Kan. She is author of several books and articles, and started her own publishing company. Today she is executive director of Black Archives of Mid-America Kansas City

Timmons Hall will present additional speakers and event in 2021. Stay up to date on programs at ParkBoard.org/TimmonsHall.  

About Timmons Hall

Historic Timmons Hall, located at 1000 N. Hampton, is a former church that was relocated to Silver Springs Park in 2015. The building now serves as an event facility, offering historical, cultural and educational opportunities, owned and operated by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. 

Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ was built in 1932 at the corner of Webster Street and Texas Avenue, overlooking Silver Springs Park. The small church served Springfield’s African American community for more than 80 years before the congregation outgrew the building and relocated in 2014. Timmons Temple was sold and slated for demolition. Nonprofit group Save Timmons Temple (now Friends of Timmons Temple) formed to preserve the church, noting its historic significance as well as its unique stone exterior, including sunburst patterns also found in the retaining walls in Silver Springs Park. In early 2015, in coordination with the Park Board, Timmons Temple was relocated by about 600 feet into Silver Springs Park. Through four years of private donation and in-kind labor, Friends of Timmons Temple carefully restored the building, officially reopening in 2019.

For more information about Timmons Hall's history, events, field trips and rentals, contact Christine Peoples, Timmons Hall Coordinator, at 417-864-1046, or visit ParkBoard.org/TimmonsHall.  

For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).

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