January 22, 2004

SIUC to observe Black History Month

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- "Brown vs. Board of Education (50th Anniversary)" is the theme of this year's Black History Month observance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

In the landmark 1954 case involving the Topeka, Kan., board of education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that maintaining "separate but equal" school facilities for black and white children was unconstitutional, setting the stage for desegregation across the country.

Although Black History Month activities run throughout February, events get under way at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, with the African Male Image Award Banquet sponsored by the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The banquet, in the Student Center's Renaissance Room, will honor Father Joseph A. Brown, director of Black American Studies at SIUC. Contact Kinji Scott at 618/549-9736 for information. Tickets are $25 per person.

Each Wednesday in February, Phi Beta Sigma fraternity will staff a bone marrow information and registration table in the Student Center. The effort will raise awareness and recruit committed bone marrow and blood stem cell donors from the African-American community.

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

All events are open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted. Here is the rest of the schedule:


Sunday, Feb. 1


  • "Collage: Poetry and Music," 3 p.m. at Bethel AME Church, 316 E. Jackson St., Carbondale; 7:30 p.m., Old Baptist Foundation. This is a collaboration between poet Mwatabu Okantah and the Cavani String Quartet. Okantah is poet-in-residence in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University and director of the Center of Pan-African Culture. The Cavani String Quartet is quartet-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music. For more information, contact Bethel AME Church at 618/549-3968 and the SIUC School of Music at 618/53-MUSIC.


Monday, Feb. 2


  • Lecture, "Brown vs. Board of Education (50th anniversary)", 7 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. Peter C. Alexander, dean of the SIUC law school, will discuss the landmark ruling as well as last year's Supreme Court ruling in affirmative action cases involving the University of Michigan. The program opens with a musical selection by SIUC's Voices of Inspiration, and a reception follows in the International Lounge.


Tuesday, Feb. 3


  • Brown bag discussion series, "Rethinking Brown vs. Board of Education: The Psychology and Pathology of Integration," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Kevin Cokley, assistant professor of counseling psychology at SIUC, will critically analyze the social science data that influenced the outcome of integration. He also will examine an alternative educational model of academic excellence that does not require integration.


Wednesday, Feb. 4


  • Brown bag discussion series, "Expectance of Excellence and the Almighty Dollar," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Janine Hargrett, a specialist in SIUC's Student Judicial Affairs office, will discuss some of the choices African-American students make regarding higher education and the motivations behind them.


Thursday, Feb. 5


  • Old School Film Night, 7 p.m., Browne Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. This will be an evening of entertainment, reminiscence and education with "old school" films and their socio-political impact on black, mainstream American and world cultures.


Friday, Feb. 6


  • African-American storyteller, 1:30 p.m., Old Main Lounge. Rudolph G. Wilson, assistant provost for social and cultural diversity at SIU-Edwardsville, will use stories written by African Americans and Africans that reveal the struggles, joys, successes and dreams of a people who have experienced prejudice and discrimination.


Monday, Feb. 9


  • Spirituals Workshop, 3:30 p.m., Old Baptist Foundation Chapel. Tenor William Brown is an internationally acclaimed concert, opera and recording artist. He has sung with major symphonies, including the Boston, Cleveland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, New York and Detroit symphonies and the London Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic.


  • Alvin Loving, artist/painter, 7 p.m., Browne Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. This Detroit native's first exhibition early in his career was at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Other museum exhibitions include at The Detroit Institute of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C. A self-described "material abstractionist," Loving also has exhibited in Cuba, Argentina, France and England.


Tuesday, Feb. 10


  • "Uncovering Illinois' Past: The Controversy of the Old Slave House," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Kevin M. Foster, assistant professor of Black American Studies and anthropology at SIUC, discusses the history of the Old Slave House, a 19th-century mansion in Equality. The owner of the house, John Crenshaw, is widely believed to have kidnapped free blacks and held them in his attic before selling them into slavery across the Ohio River.


  • Spirituals concert, 7:30 p.m., Old Baptist Foundation Chapel, featuring tenor William Brown. Students can learn more about performing spirituals.


Wednesday, Feb. 11


  • Films and discussions with filmmaker Charles Burnett. Screenings include his "Warming by the Devil's Fire," 2-4:30 p.m., Student Center Auditorium, and "Killer of Sheep," 7:30-10:30 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. Burnett, a filmmaker for three decades, focuses on the everyday lives of African-Americans. "Killer of Sheep," the story of a slaughterhouse worker who tries to make more of his life, is in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. He is the recipient of a Getty Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award.


Thursday, Feb. 12


  • Print signing, noon-2 p.m., University Bookstore. Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, assistant professor in SIUC's School of Art and Design, will sell and sign original prints created in honor of Black History Month.


  • Ron Jones Jazz Quartet, 7 p.m., Student Center Ballrooms C and D. Louisville, Ky., native Jones is a regular on the Louisville jazz scene, and in addition to his own group, he has performed with many jazz greats, including Brandford and Wynton Marsalis, Harry Pickens, Eric Reed, Nat Adderley and Rufus Reid.


Monday, Feb. 16


  • "Beauty and the Beast: Effect of Segregation on African-American Children," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Students, staff, faculty and community members can bring their lunch and enjoy a lively and informal discussion on the Black History Month topic of the day. Featured speaker is Anna Jackson, a lecturer in the SIUC English department.


  • "Service Learning: CORE Neighborhood Revitalization," 7 p.m., Room 171, Lawson Hall. Lawrence Williamson, an SIUC alum, is executive director of CORE Neighborhood Revitalization Inc. in Macon, Ga. The private, nonprofit community and economic development corporation revitalizes neighborhoods one block at a time. He received the 2002 Carter Partnership Award on behalf of Beall's Hill Revitalization, a community partnership with Mercer University. The Carter Award, given annually by Mercer's College of Arts and Sciences, recognizes a service project in which a Georgia university works with a community to strengthen families and communities.


Tuesday, Feb. 17


  • Brown Bag discussion series, noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Janine Hargrett, specialist in SIUC's Student Judicial Affairs office, explores non-minority students' questions regarding the need for a Black Affairs Council on campus.


  • Step Afrika, 7 p.m., Student Center Ballrooms C and D. This Washington, D.C.-based dance ensemble highlights the African-American fraternity and sorority art form of stepping and its links to dance traditions around the world.


Wednesday, Feb. 18


  • Brown Bag discussion series, noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Jawaad Kirkwood, a graduate student in workforce education at SIUC, poet and author, will share samples of his work and discuss the ins and outs of getting a book published.


Saturday, Feb. 21


  • Knowledge Bowl, 1:30 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. SIUC students compete for bragging rights and prizes with students from John A. Logan College in Carterville, Southeast Missouri State University, SIUE and Paducah Community College. The questions will test what the competitors and audience know about African-American history and culture.


Sunday, Feb. 22


  • Video and forum, Brown vs. Board of Education, 2:30 p.m., Student Center fourth floor video lounge. This discussion focuses on the legacy of the Supreme Court decision, the civil rights movement and challenges facing the educational system.


Monday, Feb. 23


  • "Black is ... Black Ain't: Being Black & Gay," 7 p.m., Student Center Mississippi Room. This film and the panel discussion that follows will explore segregation within the African-American community and offer suggestions on ways to integrate and strengthen the community.


Tuesday, Feb. 24


  • Brown Bag discussion series, "A Tribute to Nanny Burroughs," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Pamela Smoot, assistant professor of Black American Studies at SIUC, pays tribute to Burroughs, a school founder, educator and civil rights activist. At age 21, she presented the speech, "How Sisters are Hindered from Helping," at the National Baptist Convention in Richmond, Va., in 1900.


Wednesday, Feb. 25


  • Brown Bag discussion series, "The Black Master's Degree," noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. The Black Graduate Student Association will provide tips, insights and information on the selection, application and admissions process for graduate school.


  • "Video Survey: Campus Attitudes toward Blacks and Education," 7 p.m., Student Center Mississippi Room. SIUC undergraduates Michelle Garnett and Natalie Bonner discuss this video, filmed in January, in which SIUC faculty, staff and students discuss their perceptions of African-Americans in education.


Thursday, Feb. 26


  • Brown Bag discussion series, noon-1 p.m., Student Center Ohio Room. Students, staff, faculty and community members can bring their lunch and enjoy a lively and informal discussion on the Black History Month topic of the day.


Friday, Feb. 27


  • Ebony Showcase, 7 p.m., Furr Auditorium, Pulliam Hall. The Black Fire Dancers, Fashion Models, Voices of Inspiration, Kwiet Storm and the Black History Month Planning Committee present an evening of dance, modeling and entertainment.


Saturday, Feb. 28


  • Developing Scholars Program, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Student Center. Admission is $5 per person. This is a graduate enhancement workshop for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Contact Pat McNeil, assistant dean of the Graduate School, at 618/453-4330, for additional information and to register.


  • FinerWomanhood Banquet, 6 p.m., Student Center Old Main Lounge. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., is sponsoring this celebration of sophisticated and distinguished African-American women. Featured speaker is Jylla Moore Foster, past Grand International Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta and a consultant, author and lecturer on leadership. Contact Monet Williams at 618/549-6699 for more information. Tickets cost $25 and are available from any ZPB member.


Sunday, Feb. 29


  • Theatrical production, "Deception: Is a Real Mutha For Ya?" 7 p.m., Student Center Ballroom D. Tivia Caldwell, Teresa McKinley and Monet Williams, members of the OOPS! Entertainment Group, a registered student organization at SIUC, wrote this comedy/drama.