January 20, 2016

SIU to celebrate Black History Month

by Christi Mathis

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

“Sites of African-American Memory” is the theme of this year’s celebration and it begins with the Black History Month Kickoff at 6 p.m. on Feb. 1 in the Student Center’s Old Man Lounge. Those attending will reflect on “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memory” and learn more about Black History Month. Afterward, they can take in the movie “Selma” at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. 

Author, journalist and lecturer Lawrence C. Ross Jr. will present the keynote address for the month, “Racism on Campuses in the United States,” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. Ross is the author of several books, including “The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities,” “Money Shot: The Wild Nights and Lonely Days inside the Black Porn Industry,” “Skin Game,” and “Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses,” which is being released in February. 

The bestselling author is a double alumnus of UCLA with an undergraduate degree in American history and a master’s in screenwriting. His writings have appeared in numerous national and regional publications and he has been featured on MSNBC, NPR, BBC and other media. 

Other highlights of Black History Month include the presentation “The Black Mammy Monument: Site for Remembering and (Mis)Remembering the Slavery Past,” by Tiffany Player, history instructor, at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 3, and the movie “Banished,” at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 at Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. “Banished” tells the story of three American towns that forced their entire African American populations to move from the communities in the early 20th century and ponders if anything can be done to repair past racial injustices. 

Angela Aguayo, associate professor of cinema and photograph, is the director of “778 Bullets,” a documentary about a 1970 shooting in Carbondale. The film will be shown at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Illinois Room at the Student Center. 

Throughout February, there will be poetry readings, plays, lectures, movies and a wide variety of special presentations. In addition, WSIU-TV will air special programs all month and there will be an exhibit, “Women Pioneers and Trailblazers” at Morris Library. 

All events are free and open to the public. For the complete schedule, or to learn more, visit the Center for Inclusive Excellence website at www.inclusiveexcellence.siu.edu/brc, or call 618/453-3740.