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Black History Month Celebration Begins Friday; Annual Black Lounge Event to Be Held Saturday
Syracuse University’s annual Black History Month (BHM) celebration begins Friday, Feb. 1, with an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m. in Schine Student Center, room 304ABC. The event will feature a soulful luncheon provided through a collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Schine Dining.
The monthlong celebration includes a lineup of incredible and thought-provoking speakers, a three-on-three basketball tournament, music, an art exhibition and other events, with campuswide coordination led by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in partnership with many student organizations and University partners.
“We are excited to bring such an array of events, programs and speakers throughout Black History Month to celebrate the contributions, history and traditions of the African Diaspora. The students, faculty and staff who make up the planning committee are eager to engage the whole campus community in honoring and celebrating Black History Month,” says Cedric T. Bolton, coordinator of student engagement in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and chair of the planning committee.
One of the most highly anticipated events is the annual dinner and music celebration, The Black Lounge. The Black Lounge is Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center. This year’s event will feature headliner Anomalous People, performances by Charity Luster, Gaelyn Smith, Simone Ayres, and Creations Dance Company, and music by DJ Maestro. Michael Rainey, Jr. from the Starz hit series Power will host the event. In addition, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Caribbean Student Association and Office of Multicultural Advancement will present the annual Trailblazer Award and Distinguished Alumni Excellence Award to Dorothy “Dottie” Russell and Charles “CJack” Jackson ’91, respectively. Tickets for The Black Lounge are free and available at the Schine Box Office.
The Trailblazer Award honors a campus community member who has made a positive impact on the Syracuse University community. Russell has been a staple in Syracuse University Food Services for decades and has worked in the Schine Dining Center since the building opened. In addition to serving students and making them part of her campus family, Russell also serves fellow employees as a committed advocate and union steward. She is recognized for her compassion and ongoing commitment to helping those who fall on hard times.
The Distinguished Alumni Excellence Award honors an alumnus who has made a difference for students through their leadership, engagement and service. Jackson, an award-winning music, television and film producer and journalist, is an alumnus of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Through his companies, CJack Run Revue and The CJack Run Network, Jackson has provided Syracuse University students, Syracuse high school students and community members with opportunities to advance their careers and learning in music, television and production. He also founded and directed the SummerStart gospel choir and served as the special events coordinator for the program.
This year’s commemorative speaker is Eric D. Pritchard, Ph.D. Pritchard is an award-winning writer, cultural critic and associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) whose research and teaching focuses on the intersections of race, queerness, sexuality, gender and class with historical and contemporary literacy, literary, and rhetorical practices, as well as fashion, beauty and popular culture. His collection of work includes the award-winning book “Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy,” scholarly writings in the Harvard Educational Review and The International Journal of Fashion Studies, and articles and reviews in Public Books, ART FORUM International, and Ebony.com. His lecture, Black Supernovas: The Legacies of Black Gay Fashion Designers, is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Schine Student Center, room 304ABC. The event is free and open to the public.
Additional events throughout the month include:
- BHM 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament – Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Carrier Dome
- Dennis Dowdell Scholarship Reception – Thursday, Feb. 7, 6 – 9 p.m., Community Folk Art Center
- Caribbean Student Association Dance-A-Thon – Sunday, Feb. 17, noon – 10 p.m., Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center
- A Time for Joy and a Time for Sorrow Exhibition: Opening Reception and Talk with Artist Spencer Stultz – Thursday, Feb. 21, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Community Folk Art Center
- 11th Annual Black History Month Jazz Cabaret featuring Marcus Anderson – Sunday, Feb. 24, 4 – 6 p.m., Marriot Syracuse Downtown
- Sankofa Alumni Lecture Series with Lawrence K. Jackson ’13 – Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6 – 8 p.m., Watson Theater
For the list of events and details during Black History Month, visit the Black History Month Calendar or contact Bolton at 315.443.9676. To keep up with events on social media, use #CuseBHM.