January 23, 2015

University to celebrate Black History Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate Black History Month in February with numerous presentations and special events. 

“Celebrating Black Voices through History and Culture” is the theme and the observance begins with a kick-off event and social hour at 5 p.m., Feb. 2, in the Student Center’s Corker Lounge. 

Activities continue through Feb. 26 and unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. 

Longtime poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni is the keynote speaker. She will present “Human by the Grace of God: A View of Diversity” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Shryock Auditorium. She will highlight activism, civil rights and equality efforts through the years. She will also look at current events and contemporary social issues and how the past and present come together. 

“Black and Brown Coalition Building,” a panel discussion that will focus on the similarities and differences of the African-American and Latino communities and how they can unite to fight for social justice, is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. 

Anna Jackson, a lecturer in the Department of English, will present “Tribute to Maya Angelou: A Flawless Woman of Our Time” at 6 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the Student Center’s Kaskaskia Room. Angelou, author of “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and other best-sellers, appeared at SIU on multiple occasions and this event will highlight Angelou’s contributions to the world as an African-American and as a woman. 

The film, “Prom Night in Mississippi,” along with a discussion, is at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 12, in Guyon Auditorium. The focus is on a Mississippi high school that did not host its first integrated senior prom until 2008.  Novotny Lawrence, associate professor and chair of the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media, will host. 

“Black Church Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” at 6 p.m., Feb. 18, in the Student Center’s Mississippi Room, will examine the importance of women to civil rights and how females have, as organizers and activists, served as the foundation for the movement. Pamela Smoot, clinical assistant professor of history and Africana studies and coordinator of recruitment, retention and outreach in the College of Liberal Arts, will lead the discussion. 

Other events include Black History Musical, the Tunnel of Oppression, a look at the evolution of Afro-fashion and a black history performance. For the complete schedule and additional information, look online at www.inclusiveexcellence.siu.edu or call 618/453-3740. 

In addition to these activities, the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors in Morris Library will feature a month-long exhibit, “March on Selma,” that is viewable during daytime hours. WSIU TV also has special television programming. Find the WSIU schedule at http://www.wsiu.org/TVSchedules

Sponsors of Black History Month 2015 include: Center for Inclusive Excellence, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, College of Liberal Arts, Fine Arts Council, Black Affairs Council, Women’s Resource Center, Black Resource Center, Office of the Provost, Office of the Chancellor, University Housing, Africana Studies, Oops! Entertainment, Morris Library, College of Business Office of Minority Affairs, Blacks Interested in Business, SIU chapter of NAACP, TRIO Achievers, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Black Men’s Initiative, Black Togetherness Organization, Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle, Progressive Masculinities Mentors, Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity, the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church and Hopewell Baptist Church.