Annual Black History Month celebration begins Feb. 1
Syracuse University’s annual Black History Month celebration begins on campus Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the atrium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center from noon-2 p.m. This kick-off event will feature a soul food lunch, provided through a collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Schine Student Center Dining.
The month-long schedule of Black History Month events at SU includes performances, lectures and provocative dialogues, including Kristy Andersen, producer and writer of “Jump at the Sun” (a documentary about Zora Neale Hurston), who will speak at 4:30 p.m., Feb. 11 at Watson Theater; the sixth annual Cora A. Thomas Gospel Extravaganza featuring Leandria Johnson (BET “Sunday Best” Season 3 winner); and “Equal Justice: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall.” “Equal Justice,” which takes place Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in the College of Law’s Grant Auditorium, will recognize the breadth and depth of Justice Marshall’s contributions to social justice and equality under law with six guest speakers, including his former colleagues and protégés, scholars of Justice Marshall’s work as a lawyer and jurist, and students and community activists.
The program also features a commemorative panel, “Rap Sessions,” at 7 p.m., Feb. 17 in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3, with six renowned faculty and intellectual scholars addressing contemporary images of blackness. “Rap Sessions,” the first national tour of its kind, brings town hall-style meetings to scores of cities across the country. In 2011, “Rap Sessions” continues its commitment to engaging the most difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation. By touring the nation with leading hip-hop activists, scholars and artists, “Rap Sessions” helps energize crucial local debate.
“Rap Sessions” is free and open to the community. It is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), the Black Communications Society and the National Association of Black Journalists.
“Through these events, we celebrate the rich and diverse backgrounds of black people all over the world and their struggle for freedom and equality,” says James Duah-Agyeman, director of SU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. “I encourage the SU community to attend as many of these events as possible, especially the commemorative panel with Bakari Kitwana’s ‘Rap Sessions.’ I hope the panel inspires us to create positive change in our personal and professional lives and excellence in all we do.”
Other featured events for Black History Month include:
- The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture with Sonia Sanchez, Feb. 2, from 7-10 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium;
- “The Assassination of Patrice Lumumba” movie screening (in association with the African Student Union), Feb. 3, from 5:30–7 p.m. in Watson Theater;
- “Ode to My City Readings: Poetry and Reflections,” Feb. 10, from 7-10 p.m. at the Community Folk Art Center;
- Haitian Student Association Banquet, Feb. 12, from 7-10 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center.
For more information on Syracuse University’s Black History Month celebration, including a complete list of events and programs, visit the Black History Month Calendar, or contact Cedric Bolton, coordinator of student engagement, at (315)443-9676. Complimentary meal tickets for the kick-off lunch on Feb. 1 will be available to students who sign up for the commemorative panel.