Events and Programs

DHC hosts a wide variety of educational and fun events throughout the year. Please join our e-mail list to get timely updates.

The History and Preservation of DeKalb's Historic African American Communities: Flat Rock and Shermantown

Ninth Annual Black History Month Celebration

A Learning Experience for the Entire Community! Join us as we welcome the CEO of DeKalb County, Michael Thurmond, to the Historic DeKalb Courthouse to deliver opening remarks at our ninth Black History Month Celebration, a symposium on The History and Preservation of DeKalb's Historic African American Communities: Flat Rock and Shermantown.


The program will be a dynamic, multi-layered mix of scholars, long-time residents of these historically African American communities, and theatrical entertainment to bring the history alive! Some of the topics for this symposium will include life for African Americans in these historic communities during the Progressive Era to the present, Jim Crow Laws, church life, education, civil rights movement, and the challenges of preserving these communities.


Your registration includes a catered buffet lunch. Call 404-373-1088, extension 26 for information or to register by phone. Teachers, please email for scholarship tickets.


Individual tickets are $30/$40 (discount for members)

Thursday, February 23, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Historic DeKalb Courthouse, Second Floor

This will be a ticketed event, with sponsorship opportunities available!


Purchase Tickets and/or Sponsorships!


Symposium Overview

The event will be narrated and moderated by Ms. LaDoris Davis, educator and storyteller.

Special thanks to Ms. Tiffany Parks, DHC Board Member and coordinator of this Black History Month Celebration.


11:00 Welcome Ms. Tiffany Parks and Ms. Melissa Forgey


11:15 Opening Remarks Mr. Michael Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb County


11:25 “Deep Roots and a Well-Trodden Path: The Formation and History of the Flat Rock Community.”

Mr. Johnny Waits, founder and curator of the Flat Rock Archives Museum. Flat Rock is perhaps one of the oldest, continuously inhabited African American communities of DeKalb County. Mr. Waits will discuss and share fascinating stories about what life was like in Flat Rock’s heyday and bring interesting artifacts from the museum, including family photographs, small-farm equipment, jewelry, and clothing.


11:50 “A Mighty Foundation: The African American Community of Stone Mountain’s Shermantown.”

Dr. Paul Hudson, history professor at Perimeter College at Georgia State University, and Ms. Lora Mirza, retired associate library director at Perimeter College at Georgia State University. African American masons and artisans quarried local granite, built stone monuments, and built the resilient, thriving African American community of Shermantown. Dr. Hudson and Ms. Mirza will discuss the formation and often misunderstood history of Shermantown and Stone Mountain.


12:15 “The Importance of preserving historic African American Communities.”

Ms. Jeanne Cyriaque, is the vice chair of the board of directors at Georgia Humanities Council and board advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ms. Cyriaque will discuss the importance of preserving historic African American communities and the challenges of preserving these communities.


12:40-2:00 Panel Discussion and catered buffet lunch.

The panelists will share riveting stories of what life was like growing up in Flat Rock and Shermantown, including segregation, civil rights movement, business ventures, church life, challenges of preserving the community, and other related topics.

Panel Moderator - Dr. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, Founder and CEO of Preserve Black America, LLC

Panelists from Shermantown: Chief James Rivers, Ms. Gloria Brown, Ms. Mamie Lane, Ms. Elaine Vaughn, and Ms. Evelyn Herans. Panelists from Flat Rock: Reverand T.A. Bryant, Jr., Ms. Bertha Clark, Ms. Alice Bailey, and Ms. Martha Williams. Our speakers will also participate in the panel discussion.





Seventy Years of Collecting, Preserving & Sharing DeKalb's History

Lunch and Learn

More information coming soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Historic DeKalb Courthouse, Second Floor

Free and open to the public!



Annual Meeting and Silent Auction

More information coming soon!

Friday, March 24, 6:00 - 8:30 pm

Historic DeKalb Courthouse, Second Floor

Free and open to the public!