The African American Heritage Society will host its 20th annual Black Tie Event virtually on Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 6 p.m.
The annual fundraiser supporting AAHS and the McLemore House Museum has typically experienced sellout crowds with over 725 guests in attendance. Due to COVID-19 and the desire to keep the community safe, the event will be virtual this year.
“So many people in our community have not missed this event throughout its 20-year history, so we wouldn’t want them to break their attendance record now,” organizers of the event, offering encouragement to past participants, said in a news release.
The mission of AAHS is to chronicle the lives and contributions that African Americans have made and to preserve and protect African American Heritage and history in the community. This year’s theme is “We Stand United.”
The organization also announced Damani Keene and his wife, Ife, will serve as honorary chairs for this year’s event.
Keene is a descendant of the Mariah Reddick family, an enslaved family at the Carnton Plantation before the Civil War. He’s the great-grandson of Mariah and has chronicled his great-grandmothers’ story in his book, “Clandestine, The Secret Life of Mariah Otey Reddick.”
Ife is a contributing author to the story that holds significance to the rich African American history in Williamson County. Released in 2019 and available on Amazon, the novel tells the story of Keene’s great-grandmother’s life — a gracious lady of strength, determination and resolve — that will inspire and encourage present and future generations.
Williamson Medical Center is once again the Presenting Sponsor for the annual fundraiser.
Also supporting the AAHS through sponsorship of the annual event are Animalia; BrandMETTLE; Buerger, Moseley & Carson; Calvin and Marilyn Lehew; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the city of Franklin; Drury Inn; John and Marianne Schroer; Franklin Mayor Ken and Linda Moore; 906 Studio; PLA Media; RNM Management; Tennessee Valley Homes; The Drury Group; Tracy & Bill Frist Community Foundation; and Williamson Real Estate. Media sponsors for the event are Franklin/Brentwood Home Page, Southern Exposure, Tennessean, Tennessee Tribune, WAKM, Williamson Herald and Your Williamson.
Ticket sales are unlimited and are $25 per individual and $250 for a table of 10. Tickets purchased by Jan. 15 will be eligible for a chance to win fantastic prizes. There will also be prizes awarded for a best-dressed contest during the event.
Participants will be able to order meals provided by Soul food by Suzette’s Catering and Moe Better BBQ & Fish, to be picked up on the day of the event.
Donations to AAHS are tax-deductible and may be made online at mclemorehouse.com or by check, made payable to African American Heritage Society and mailed to P. O. Box 1053, Franklin, TN 37065.