Campus Connection.
February 7, 2003 Volume 19, Number 12


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Western Illinois University To Celebrate Black History And Culture In February

"The Souls of Black Folk" is this year's theme for Western's celebration of Black History Month. Throughout February, various events and activities will take place to celebrate Black history and culture.

The month-long celebration includes several highlights that are open to the public. Some activities include a series of public radio programs, a performance by Grammy award-nominated musician Stefon Harris, a night of comedy with Finesse Mitchell, a soul food festival, lectures and movies.

WIUM 91.3 FM/WIUW 89.5 FM Tri-States Public Radio will host a series of special programs to celebrate Black History Month at WIU. Among the programs is "We Were Here - Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," which will air in two parts; the first at noon on Tuesday, Feb 11 and the second at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Other programs to air during Black History Month include "Classically Black: Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier des Saint-Georges," which will air at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 7; "Meet All Your Fine Friends: The Dew Drop Inn in New Orleans," which will air at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16; and "Uncommon Courage: The Viola Liuzzo Story," which will be broadcast at noon Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The Bureau of Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with the College of Fine Arts and Communication, will present a performance by Grammy-nominated vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at Western Hall. Heralded as "one of the most important young artists in jazz" by the Los Angeles Times, Harris has been widely lauded by his peers and jazz critics alike. Tickets are $20, $17 and $13 for WIU students and $24, $21 and $17 for the public. For more information call 298-1254.

Comedienne Finesse Mitchell will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 in the Union Lamoine Room. Mitchell entered and won his first comedy contest in 1995. Since then he has appeared on NBC's Late Friday, CBS's The Late Show with Craig Kilborn and regularly on BET's Comic View. For more information, call 298-3232.

On Saturday, Feb. 15 the 17th Annual Soul Food Festival will include a 5:30 p.m. social and a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Union Lamoine Room. The menu will include spicy Jamaican meat patties and old fashioned fruit Slush for appetizers and sassy jerk chicken with papaya chutney or bluesey beef short ribs for the entrée. Side dishes include red beans and rice, jambalaya and corn cobbettes. Guests may have either peach cobbler or banana pudding with baked meringue for dessert. Salad, rolls and a beverage of coffee, tea or water will also be served. Call 298-2220 for more information.

Lectures, discussions and workshops will also take place throughout Black History Month at WIU. On Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. participants can learn "The Importance of African-American Music and Its Influence on Society" in the Union Fox Room and "The Art of Tying African Head Wraps" be the featured topic at the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The 30th Annual WIU Jazz Festival, featuring jazz competitions and performances each day by junior high, high school, and college jazz bands and performances by several guest artists will take place Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday Feb. 15 in the Union and/or the College of Fine Arts and Communication Recital Hall. For more information call 298-1505. Admission charged for most events. Ticket information available at 298-1254.

Other events taking place during Black History Month at WIU include a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Union Heritage Rooms and Cultural Expressions which invites students to sing, rap or recite poetry at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 at the Murray Street Cafe in the Union.

For more information about events or activities contact Belinda Carr, director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, 298-2220.

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Campus Connection is produced by the Office of University Relations at Western Illinois University. It is distributed each Friday when the University is in session and approximately four times during the summer.

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