The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society is proud to honor Black History Month by featuring a public concert by the Philip R. Cousin African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Choir at the February Third Thursday Lecture.
The quarterly lectures are presented in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club to educate the public about historical figures, general history and events in and around Mandarin. This event will feature one of Mandarin’s oldest continuing religious congregations, founded in 1886. At that time Mandarin’s population was only 1200 people – and 900 of those residents were African American. The church was originally named Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church of Mandarin. The first structure, a wooden building, was erected on Orange Picker Rd. on the same property as the present church. After a merger with Mt. Pleasant AME Church of Fruit Cove in 1990 the church was renamed to honor Bishop Phillip R. Cousin. Since that time the Pastor has been Reverend Eugene E. Mosley, a life long Mandarin resident.
The Choir has been in existence since the early 1950s and currently has 15 active members under the leadership of Sandra Platt, Music Coordinator, as well as Lionel Lawrence and Ava Jacques, musicians/Director.
They will be singing traditional hymns and Christian gospel music, including Jacksonville native James Weldon Johnson’s (1871-1938) famous and beloved “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the “Negro Anthem.” Originally written as a poem, the music was added by Johnson’s brother Rosamond and was first sung publicly on February 12, 1900 in honor of President Lincoln’s birthday. It was performed by 500 children at StantonHigh School where James Weldon Johnson was Principal. It is very special that this song will be performed for the audience this night – in February, which is Black History Month, and in this historic building with its close connections to Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Freedmen’s Bureau School.
This group performs all of their selected traditional and inspirational music with great talent and contagious enthusiasm. The evening promises to be one that you will enjoy and it will connect you with Mandarin’s deep and important African American roots.
The concert will be presented on Thursday, February 20 at the Mandarin Community Club which is located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are at 6:30 PM with the music at 7:00 PM. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.
Please call 268-0784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Checkout the museum website at www.mandarinmuseum.net and the Mandarin Community Club website at www.mandarincommunityclub.org.