Lafayette will celebrate Black History Month with art, a historical exhibit, a research symposium on race, music, discussions, and performances.
The celebration’s keynote talk will be presented by award-winning author Siddharth Kara 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Oechsle Hall room 224 as part of the President’s McDonogh Lecture Series. One of the world’s foremost experts on modern day slavery and human trafficking, Kara is author of Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, the first of three books he is writing on the topic. He was co-winner of the prestigious 2010 Frederick Douglass Award at Yale University and is a fellow with the Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Harvard University.
A highlight of the celebration will be the discussion “Hip-Hop Activism in the Age of Obama and the Tea Party” 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104. Led by a panel of emerging leaders, activists, and scholars, this town-hall style discussion explores the ways that the election of Obama, the emergence of the Tea Party, and the shifting national political landscape have both strengthened and diminished hip-hop’s effectiveness at galvanizing youth.
The moderator of the discussion will be Bakari Kitwana, journalist, activist, political analyst, and author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture and Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era. The panelists include Rosa Clemente, community organizer, journalist, and 2008 vice presidential candidate for the Green Party; Jasiri X, independent hip-hop artist; Stefanie Brown, national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division; Rob “Biko” Baker, executive director of The League of Young Voters; and Cathy Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at University of Chicago.
The exhibit in the Portlock Black Cultural Center’s EPI/Riley Temple Gallery during March will be the (1)ne Drop project, headed by Yaba Blay, visiting assistant professor of African Studies, and recently featured on CNN.
A creative presentation of historical documentation, personal memoirs, and portraiture, (1)ne Drop explores the “other faces of blackness”—those who may not immediately be recognized, accepted, or embraced as black in this visually racialized society. Through portrait documentaries (book and film), photography exhibitions, and public programming, the project intends to raise social awareness and spark community dialogue about the complexities of blackness as both an identity and a lived reality.
Other events include an exhibit and talk by Atlanta-based, African-American artist Kevin Cole and the Black History Month finale performance by the Association of Black Collegians, Precision Step Team, Lafayette African and Caribbean Student Association, and PAC Friday, March 2.
The month’s events are coordinated by the Office of Intercultural Development and are sponsored by the Africana studies program, the Association of Black Collegians, the Office of the President, the Office of Religious Life, the Williams Center for the Arts, and the women’s and gender studies program. For more information, contact intercultural development at (610) 330-5580.
Schedule of events:
- Jan. 25, 8 a.m., Marlo Room Farinon College Center-Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast
- Feb. 1, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104-Hip Hop Activism in the Age of Obama and the Tea Party
- Feb. 9, 4:45 p.m., Portlock Black Cultural Center EPI/Riley Temple Gallery-Kevin Cole art exhibition
- Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m., Portlock Black Cultural Center-RACE: Student Research Symposium
- Feb. 28, 4 p.m., Oechsle Hall room 224-President’s McDonogh Lecture by Siddarth Kara
- March 2, location and time are TBD-Black History Month Finale
- March 6, 4:30 p.m., Portlock Black Cultural Center EPI/Riley Temple Gallery-(1)ne Drop exhibit opening
- March 8, 7 p.m., Portlock Black Cultural Center EPI/Riley Temple Gallery-(1)ne Drop exhibit lecture
- March 21, 8 p.m., Williams Center for the Arts-Spirit of Uganda African dance troupe