January 10, 2008

Black History Month Explores ‘The Modern Black Experience’ Feb. 1-March 5

Events include lectures, art exhibits, films, discussions, performances, and a benefit dance

Lafayette will celebrate Black History Month (BHM) from Feb. 1-March 5 with the theme “The Modern Black Experience: Examining the Past to Define our Place in the Future.” Events will explore the contributions of black people from all over the Diaspora and how they continue to shape the black community today.

This year’s BHM events mix academic, social, and cultural expression. The events attempt to cover the depth and breadth of the Black African and African American communities both here and abroad.

“Our hope is that we won’t only be telling folks about the past, but engaging them in a dialogue about the present and working together to find common ground in the future,” says Kimberly Roberts, assistant director of Intercultural Development.

The month’s events will look at modern black experience and the history that serves as its foundation through several different lenses. For more information about the College’s BHM events, contact the Office of Intercultural Development at x5819 or email.

The Presidential Speaker Series on Diversity will present Claude Steele, Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and Director for the Center of Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He will deliver the keynote address entitled “Identity Happens: How Stereotype-and Identity-Threat Affect Intellectual Performance and Shape the Challenge of an Integrated Society.” The lecture will discuss how people cope with self-image threats and how group stereotypes can influence intellectual performance. It will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104.

The Third Annual African Studies Conference: Urbanization: The Modern Face of Africa will take place Feb. 15-17. Issues facing Africa such as technology, public health, population and land policy, urban art, gender issues, and economics will be discussed at the conference.

Students will have the chance to participate in a fireside conversation with John McCartney, professor of government and law and chair of Africana Studies, and Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, associate professor of economics and business, as well as a panel discussion with student leaders called “How far have we come?”

The “Heal Africa” formal dance is a fund-raiser to build a library and provide scholarships for young adults in Agogo, Ghana. The dance will be from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Feb. 16 in Marquis Dining Hall. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Featured in the Portlock Black Cultural Center Gallery will be works by renowned artist Janet Taylor Pickett from Feb.1-March 5. This exhibition chronicles the physical and spiritual journey of African Americans.

Roberts explains the importance of Black History Month, “Taking the time to highlight and celebrate the contributions of black people throughout the Diaspora is important to the intellectual pursuit here at Lafayette. Oftentimes students are not exposed to the significant contributions that black people have made to our world and they go unrecognized and underappreciated. Black History Month is a time to reflect on our history and share our stories.”

The month’s events are being hosted by the Office of Intercultural Development and the Portlock Black Cultural Center (PBCC). Other sponsors include the Office of the President, government and law department, economics and business department, Africana studies program, the Williams Center for the Arts, Student Life Programs, the Association of Black Collegians (ABC), Africans Creating African Consciousness and Interest Abroad (ACACIA), and the Brothers of Lafayette.

Schedule of Events:

Feb. 1 – March 5 – BHM Feature Art Exhibition: Works by Janet Taylor Pickett, Portlock Black Cultural Center, M-F, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Lives of Liberty Lecture: American Civil War historian James M. McPherson, “Tried by War, Decided by Victory: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief,” Williams Center for the Arts, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m.
Feb. 5 – BHM Kickoff Expo, Farinon College Center, Landis Atrium 11- 1 p.m.
Feb. 8 -12 – Film Screening, Sankofa, Farinon College Center, Limburg Theater, 7 and 10 p.m.
Feb. 8 -12 -Film Screening, Black Is-Black Ain’t, Limburg Theater, 7 and 10 p.m.
Feb. 11 – Lives of Liberty Lecture: historian Simon Schama, “Remembering the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 200 Years On: British Eloquence and American Silence,” Colton Chapel, 8 p.m.
Feb.12 – Urban Bush Women and Jant-Bi dance troupes, William Center for the Arts, 8 p.m.
Feb. 15 – 17 – Third Annual ACACIA Conference: Urbanization: The Modern Face of Africa.
Feb. 16-“Heal Africa” Benefit Dance, Marquis Dining Hall, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Feb. 20- Fireside Conversation with John McCartney and Fluney Hutchinson, Gilbert’s Lounge, 6 p.m.
Feb. 21 – Presidential Speaker Series on Diversity; BHM Keynote Speaker, Dr. Claude Steele, “Identity Happens: How Stereotype- and Identity-Threat Affect Intellectual Performance and Shape the Challenges of an Integrated Society,” Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 26- BHM Student Panel: How far have we come? Interfaith Chapel, 12 p.m.
Feb. 27- BHM Feature Art Exhibition Reception: Works by Janet Pickett, PBCC, 5 p.m.
March 5- Brothers of Lafayette Talk Show, Farinon Snack Bar, 5 p.m.
Office of Intercultural Development
Portlock Black Cultural Center
The McDonogh Report celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the Lafayette community.
Multicultural and Social Justice Organizations

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