University News

Western To Celebrate Black History And Culture In February

January 21, 2005


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“The African Diaspora … The Journey of the Drum" is this year's theme for Western Illinois University'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. (EDITORS: A FULL LIST OF EVENTS IS INCLUDED). Some activities include a soul food festival, a performance by Nnenna Freelon and Trio, an evening of Langston HughesÂ’s poetry, a one-woman show by a Western alumna, lectures addressing racism and other topics and a series of radio programs on Tri States Public Radio.

The 19th Annual Soul Food Festival will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 in the University Union Lamoine Room. The festival begins with a 5:30 p.m. social with cash bar and dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. The menu for this yearÂ’s Soul Food Festival will feature braised short ribs of beef, DeccaÂ’s chicken drunkard style, cornbread dressing, collard greens, candied sweet potatoes, Creole tomato chutney, confetti corn muffins, Sunday salad with Creole vinaigrette, old-fashioned lemon meringue pie, down-home peach cobbler, coffee, tea, and pink lemonade. Admission charge to be announced. For more information, call 309/298-2220.

Don’t miss five-time Grammy Award-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 in Western Hall. Freelon, who has won the Billie Holiday Award from the Academie du Jazz and the Eubie Blake Award, has also appeared in the Mel Gibson film “What Women Want.” Freelon reaches out regularly to children worldwide through her educational activities and residencies in her role as national spokesperson for Partners in Education. Tickets for Freelon’s performance are $21, $16 and $13 for the public; $17, $12 and $13 for youth and $14, $10 and $7 for Western students. For more information call 309/298-2900.

Freelon will also present “An Evening of Langston Hughes Poetry” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. Cost is $5 for the public and free to WIU students with a valid University ID. For more information, call 309/298-2900.

The Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center (GBCC) will present “One Woman Show: A Black Woman Speaks” with alumna Dena Hurst Semmons at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. A former director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, Hurst Semmons ’72 has launched a national theatre tour of "A Tribute to Beah Richards/A Black Woman Speaks." Hurst Semmons will be assisted during her performance by another Western alumnus, John Thorpe ’71, ’74. Thorpe has also produced and toured with the production. This event is open free to the public. For more information, call 309/298-2220

A Brown Bag discussion series sponsored by the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center will address various topics throughout February. Associate Vice President for Student Services Earl Bracey will present “Is Racism Alive and Well?” Wednesday, Feb. 9. Sociology and anthropology professor Essie Rutledge will address “Color Blind Racism” Wednesday, Feb. 23. Other Brown Bag presentations will discuss the Western’s Minority Graduate Student Association Wednesday, Feb. 2 and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Wednesday, Feb. 16. All Brown Bag discussions are open free to the public and take place at noon in the University Union Sandburg Lounge. For more information, call 309/298-2220.

Other discussions and workshops will also take place throughout Black History Month at Western. The Black Student Association will host “Know Your Heritage” at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7 in the Union Heritage Room and the Social Work Student Association will discuss “The Impact of African American Social Workers” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 in Horrabin Hall 04. A “Spit It Out Forum” will be also be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9 in the University Union Prairie Lounge. Each of these presentations is open free to the public.

Tri States Public Radio will host a series of radio programs dealing with black history and culture in February. Programs include “The Afro: Personal Reflections” Tuesday, Feb. 1; “Celebration – Adolphus Hailstork” Tuesday, Feb. 8; and “The Making of a Man – The Story of Frederick Douglass” Tuesday, Feb. 15. These programs will be broadcast at noon on Tri States Public Radio, 91.3 FM or 89.5 FM. For more information, call 309/298-1873.

The 32nd 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. 17 through Saturday Feb. 19 in the University Union and/or College of Fine Arts and Communication Recital Hall. Featured guests include Jon Faddis, trumpet player and director of Performance at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, State University of New York, and Brian Coyle, trumpet player and IAJE chair for New Music and director of Jazz Studies at Hope College in Holland, MI. Many Western faculty will also perform. For more information call 309/298-1505. Admission charged for most events. Ticket information available at 309/298-1254.

Other events taking place during Black History Month at Western include the Black Cinema Film Series sponsored by the Black Student Association and a Midnight Mardi Gras for Western students at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center Friday, Feb. 4.

Sponsors of the Black History Month Celebration include WesternÂ’s Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center (GBCC), African American studies department, Black Student Association, Inter-Hall Council, Office of Student Activities, Renaissance Writers, Student Government Association, University Housing and Dining Services, University Relations, University Union and the WIU Women's Center. Contributors include the African American Studies Club, the African Student Association and Thompson and Wetzel halls. For more information about events or activities contact Belinda Carr, director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, 309/298-2220.






Western Illinois University Black History Month
Calendar of Events February 2005
The African Diaspora Â… The Journey of the Drum

• February 1-28 – Women in the African Diaspora Who Have Changed America Through Civic Engagement. Daily postings on the Women’s Center electronic bulletin board and website: www.wc.wiu.edu. For information, call 298-2242.

Black History Month Display in the Union Display Case. Various Black History Month events and activities will be showcased throughout the month.

• February 1 – “The Afro: Personal Reflections” radio broadcast at noon on WIUM 91.3 FM and WIUW 89.5 FM. For information, call 298-1873.

• February 2 – Brown “Baggin It” with the Minority Graduate Student Association at noon in the Union Sandburg Lounge. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-2220.

Black Cinema Film Series, “Cooley High” at 7 p.m. in the Union Sandburg Theatre. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-3255 or 298-2220.

• February 4 – 7th Annual Midnight Mardi Gras from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center. Free to WIU students with valid student I.D. For information, call 298-1228.

• February 7 – “Know Your Heritage” at 5 p.m. in the Union Heritage Room. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-3255.

Black Cinema Film Series, “Coming to America” at 7 p.m. in the Union Sandburg Theatre. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-3255 or 298-2220.

• February 8 – Classically Black: “Celebration – Adolphus Hailstork” radio broadcast at noon on WIUM 91.3 FM and WIUW 89.5 FM. For information, call 298-1873.

“One Woman Show: A Black Woman Speaks” featuring former GBCC director and WIU alum, Dena Hurst Semmons, assisted by WIU alum John Thorpe, at 7 p.m. in the Union Grand Ballroom. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-2220.

• February 9 – “Is Racism Alive and Well?” presented by Earl Bracey at noon in the Union Sandburg Lounge. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-2220.

“Spit It Out” Forum at 7 p.m. in the Union Prairie Lounge. Open, free to the public. For more information, call 298-2220.

• February 14 – Black Cinema Film Series, “Love Jones” at 7 p.m. in the Union Sandburg Theatre. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-3255 or 298-2220.

• February 15 – Destination Freedom/Black Radio Days: “The Making of a Man – The Story of Frederick Douglass” radio broadcast at noon on WIUM 91.3 FM and WIUW 89.5 FM. For information, call 298-1873.

• February 16 – “NPHC … The Real Deal” at noon in the Union Sandburg Lounge. Open free to the public For information, call 298-2220.

• February 22 – “An Evening of Langston Hughes Poetry” with Nnenna Freelon at 7:30 p.m. in the Union Grand Ballroom. Tickets: $5 for the public and free to WIU students with valid ID. For information, call 298-2900.

• February 23 – “Color-Blind Racism” presented by Essie Rutledge at noon in the Union Sandburg Lounge. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-2220.

“The Impact of African-American Social Workers” at 5 p.m. in Horrabin Hall 4. Open free to the public. For information, call 298-7611.

Nnenna Freelon and Trio in concert at 7:30 p.m. in Western Hall. Tickets: $21, $16, $13 for the public; $17, $12, $9 for youth and $14, $10, $7 for WIU students. For information, call 298-2900.

• February 25 – Cultural Expressions at 9 p.m. in the Union Murray Street Café. Open free to the public. For more information, call 298-2220.

• February 26 – 19th Annual Soul Food Festival. 5:30 p.m. social and 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Union Lamoine Room. Admission charge to be announced. Open to the public. For information, call 298-2220.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations