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January 25, 2005
Posted online January 29, 2006

SIUC to observe Black History Month

By K.C. Jaehnig

Hattie McDaniel stamp
Actress Hattie McDaniel is featured on a 2006 USPS Commemorative stamp. To launch February's Black History Month activities, actress Hattie McDaniel will be recognized as the 29th inductee into the Black Heritage Series. McDaniel worked behind the scenes to change Hollywood's view of minorities. The "Hattie McDaniel" stamp image is based on a photograph of her in the dress McDaniel wore when accepting the1939 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in "Gone with the Wind." McDaniel appeared in more than 300 films and extended her acting career into television.

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Black History Month celebrations at Southern Illinois University Carbondale begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Ballroom B of the SIUC Student Center with an opening ceremony recalling the event's beginnings and highlighting the month's activities and speakers. The Student Center's display case will contain a month-long exhibition relating to black history through Feb. 28, and its Art Alley will feature art by Najjar Abdul-Musawwir Feb. 13-27.

This year's theme focuses on "Remembering our Struggle, Continuing our Progress, Embracing our Future."

All events are open to the public, and admission is free except where noted. The rest of the schedule appears below.

Thursday, Feb. 2

Keynote address, Amiri Baraka, 7 p.m. (location to be announced)

Baraka, American dramatist, poet, novelist, Muslim convert and advocate of scientific socialism, explores the experience and anger of African-Americans through his writings and uses his work to fight racism.

Monday, Feb. 6

Film and discussion, "Ethnic Notions," noon, Illinois Room, SIUC Student Center

Marlon Riggs' Emmy-winning documentary, with narration by Esther Rolle and commentary by respected scholars, takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing the deep-rooted stereotypes that have fueled anti-black prejudice. Approaching a complex and delicate subject with great sensitivity, the film equips viewers to view media and other cultural representations with a more critical eye.

Speech, Earl Caldwell, 7 p.m., Ballroom D, SIUC Student Center

A nationally known journalist who in his 40-year career covered many of the events that shaped a tumultuous era in American history, Caldwell is the Scripps Howard endowed professor of journalism at Hampton University in Virginia. He also hosts and produces the Pacifica radio broadcast "The Caldwell Chronicle" and serves as an oral historian at the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, where he directs the History Project.

Poetry and music, Mwatabu Okantah and the Cavani String Quartet, 7 p.m. Student Center Auditorium

Mwatabu Okantah is poet-in-residence and director of pan-African studies at Kent State University. The Cavani String Quartet is quartet-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where it also directs the Apprentice Quartet Program.

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Poetry and music, Mwatabu Okantah and the Cavani String Quartet, 10 a.m., Shryock Auditorium

Wednesday, Feb. 8

Adrinka (Ghana-style) fabric printing, 6 p.m., lower level Craft Shop, SIUC Student Center, $1 (for ink) and $2 per flag.

Use original Ghana stamp images to make a cloth with your favorite symbols. This style of printing has a rich history in the imagery and spirituality of Africa. Bring in your own cloth, T-shirt or wrap, or make a small flag.

Speech, "No Crystal Stair: Black Women's Work in America, 1619-1999," Francille Rusan Wilson, 7 p.m., Ballroom A, SIUC Student Center.

A labor and intellectual historian, Wilson's current research examines the intersections between black labor movements, black social scientists and black women's history during the Jim Crow era. Her forthcoming book, "The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890-1950," examines three generations of scholar-activists, and her biography-in-progress of lawyer and economist Sadie T. M. Alexander investigates representations of black women workers and the impact of racism and sexism on black women in male professions in the early 20th century. Wilson, an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, is an associate professor of African-American studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Thursday, Feb. 9

Brown Bag Discussion, Leonard K. Gadzekpo, noon, Illinois Room, SIUC Student Center.

Gadzekpo, an SIUC assistant professor of black American studies who grew up in Ghana, will share real-life personal stories, invaluable information, mind-expanding inspiration, authentic goods and some really great photographs.

Friday, Feb. 10

Fourth annual students vs. faculty basketball game, 7 p.m., Pulliam Gym, $3/adults, $1/children

Saturday, Feb. 11

Taste of Soul All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, 4 p.m., Eurma Hayes Center, 441 E. Willow, $15.

A soul food buffet served on china, including turnip and collard greens, smothered pork chops and brown gravy, black-eyed peas, chitterlings, candied yams and more.

Semi-formal "Night of Elegance," 5 p.m., Renaissance Room, SIUC Student Center

Performances by jazz legend Danita Mumphard, jazz band "Trio Tres Bien"and others make for a romantic, mellow evening for special valentines. The event honors retired professors Brockman Schumacher, Benjamin A. Shepard and Harvey Welch.

Sunday, Feb. 12

NAACP/SIUC chapter Founder's Day program featuring NAACP National Executive Board member Theresa Deer, 5 p.m., Alumni Lounge, SIUC Student Recreation Center

Monday, Feb. 13

Brown Bag Discussion, SIUC Black American Studies Assistant Professor Pamela Smoot, noon, Illinois Room, SIUC Student Center.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Speech, "Reparations," Adrienne D. Davis, 7 p.m., Fourth Floor Video Lounge, SIUC Student Center

Davis studies the gendered dimensions of American slavery, including the regulation of sexuality under slavery and its ongoing implications for law and social norms. She also does work on theories of commodification. An Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, she joined the law faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000 and works as a consultant with a litigation project seeking reparations for African-Americans. She lectures often on legal history and theory, race, and gender.

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Reception and signing, artist Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, 5 p.m., Art Alley, SIUC Student Center

Career preparation workshops, 6 p.m., lower level, Grinnell Hall

Workshops provide advice on resumes, professional dress, business and dinner etiquette, and mock interviewing.

Sunday, Feb. 19

Art exhibit, 6 p.m. (location to be announced)

Dance, Step Afrika, 7 p.m. (location to be announced)

This Washington, D.C,-based international dance group educates, excites and entertains with incredible dance moves, syncopated and synchronized steps, and rhythmic percussive beats that celebrate and honor African heritage and African-American creativity and expression. Step performances began with and were popularized by black Greek letter organizations.

Monday, Feb. 20

Speech, "The Clinton Presidency: An African-American Perspective," Janis F. Kearney, 7 p.m., Fourth Floor Video Lounge, SIUC Student Center

Kearney, a writer, lecturer and columnist for more than 20 years, was President Bill Clinton's personal diarist from 1995 to 2001, the first person ever to serve in such capacity. She will offer first-hand stories from the West Wing and tidbits from conversations with African-Americans throughout the country on Bill Clinton: the man, the world leader, and the "race president." Kearney is working on two books: a Clinton biography, to be called "Conversations: From Hope to Harlem," and another titled "Cotton Field of Dreams." She is listed in The HistoryMakers archive—a video oral history archive headquartered in Chicago and dedicated to preserving African-American history.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Book review and signing, Ronne Hartfield, 7 p.m., Rock Hill Baptist Church, Marion and Monroe streets, Carbondale

An international consultant in museum education and planning, Hartfield has written two books, the most recent titled, "Encountering Art/Different Facets of the Esthetic Experience." She has served as both project director and executive director of Urban Gateways, the country's largest private arts education organization, and as executive director for museum education at Chicago's Art Institute, where she continues to consult on a variety of projects. She also has worked as a consultant for the NEA and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Black History Knowledge Bowl Competition, 7 p.m., Saline Room, SIUC Student Center

This event is open to all registered student organizations.

Thursday, Feb. 23

Adrinka (Ghana-style) fabric printing, 6 p.m., lower level Craft Shop, SIUC Student Center, $1 (for ink) and $2 per flag.

Use original Ghana stamp images to make a cloth with your favorite symbols. This style of printing has a rich history in the imagery and spirituality of Africa. Bring in your own cloth, T-shirt or wrap, or make a small flag.

Friday, Feb. 24

Black Inventors Scavenger Hunt, 6 p.m., Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center

Various stations present information about black inventors present and past.

Saturday, Feb. 25

Developing Scholars Program, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., River Rooms, SIUC Student Center, $5

Workshops will prepare undergraduate students for graduate school. Meals will be provided. Prizes and awards will be distributed.

Art show/reception, 5:30 p.m., Ballrooms, SIUC Student Center

Fashion show and heart disease awareness program, 7 p.m., Ballrooms, SIUC Student Center, $10

The fashion show features African clothing, Greek wear, Hip-Hop styles and original designs by SIUC fashion design and merchandising students. The heart disease awareness program places special emphasis on African-American women.

Monday, Feb. 27

HIV/AIDS program, 5 p.m., Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center

Black men and women who have the disease will talk about their experiences. Those attending will receive tips on avoiding the disease.

Speech, "Why We Hate: Psychological and Historical Perspectives on Racism, Sexism and Anti-Semitism," Lawrence J. Friedman, 7 p.m., Fourth Floor Video Lounge, SIUC Student Center

An Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, Friedman is professor of history at Indiana University and consulting editor to the journal Psychoanalysis and History. His books include "Menninger: The Family and the Clinic" (1990), "Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson" (1999), and "Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History" (2003).

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Brown Bag Discussion Series, SIUC Cinema and Photography Associate Professor Fern H. Logan, noon, Student Center Auditorium

Logan will show work in which she tries to answer such questions as, what happens to the children of mixed relationships? How and where do they fit in? Do they have to choose to identify with the race of one parent over the other?

Black History Month Closing Ceremony, 5 p.m., Ballroom A, SIUC Student Center

This wrap-up event includes an awards ceremony.

Enhancing students' understanding of the value of diversity is among the goals of Southern@150,: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

© 2005 The Cairo Gate