Local dance theatre dedicates Black History performance to local pioneers

Last updated on May 30th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

A scene from the Black History performance a the Nashville Children's Dance Theatre.

A scene from the Black History performance a the Nashville Children’s Dance Theater.

February, nationally recognized as Black History Month, to learn, honor and celebrate the achievements of black men and women throughout history.

The Nashville Children’s Dance Theatre, a local inner-city youth dance and performance company, will dedicate its Black History performance, ASCENSION 2K14, An Aerial Silks Showcase, to two women who were influential in the effort to desegregate Nashville. Nashville civil rights pioneers Inez Crutchfield and Carrie Gentry grew up in the segregated south but wanted a better life for their children and grandchildren.

Carrie Gentry

Carrie Gentry
Photo by StoryCorps

Inez Crutchfield

Inez Crutchfield

Mrs. Crutchfield, a health education teacher at Tennessee State University and Mrs. Gentry, an educator and wife of Howard Gentry, Sr. – the 12th head football coach for the Tennessee State Tigers, aided student protesters in Nashville during the 1960’s nonviolent civil rights movement. They later became involved in the League for Women Voters and were the first African American members of the Davidson County Democratic Women.

Today, Inez Crutchfield and Carrie Gentry continue to advocate for civil and human rights in America. Mrs. Crutchfield was elected to local office and has served as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention, and Mrs. Gentry is the author of “A Life Worth Living: A Biography of Howard Gentry, Sr.” Both women serve as board members of the Nashville Children’s Dance Theatre, whose mission is to improve access to fine arts education and training for inner city youth.

On February 27-March 1, the Nashville Children’s Dance Theatre will honor Inez Crutchfield and Carrie Gentry at its annual Black History celebration performance, ASCENSION 2K14, An Aerial Silks Showcase. The group will perform at the brand new Nashville Children’s Dance Theatre Performance Hall located in downtown Nashville.

Tickets for ASCENSION 2K14 start at $10.00. Seating is limited so advance purchase is strongly recommended. Purchase tickets online at ticketriver.com/event/9847 or call 615-415-2885 for more information.