Events to celebrate black history

Kathlyn Hotynski

In honor of Black History Month, a number of musical events, speakers and presentations are scheduled to help raise awareness of the contributions African Americans made and are continuing to make to society.

The University and Activities Commission, the Forum and Artist Series and the Office of Multicultural Affairs are sponsoring different events to take place throughout the month.

“The various events that we are sponsoring are designed to challenge intellectually and yet to be interesting and fun and to call awareness to the broad diversity that there is among people,” said Paula Stuettgen, coordinator of student diversity and programs at UAC.

Nontraditional senior Christine Webster agreed.

Webster, program assistant for the office of multicultural affairs, said she hopes this month will create “an awareness of black history month and the richness of black history in America.”

The series of events kicked off Tuesday night with a UAC sponsored concert.

Jibali Afrika, a musical group from Kenya, featured African music, singing, dancing and costumes.

Among the other events scheduled are luncheons, speakers, such as Mohammed Bilal, a former MTV Real World star and diversity consultant, a film about interracial marriage, musical shows and much more.

First-year UW-Eau Claire graduate student Allan Ramsey specializes in U.S. history and said he believes the university is doing a service to the students, because it is important to keep people informed about the past.

“History can be applied to things going on today,” Ramsey said. “Being a historian, we look to the past in order to understand what’s going on today.”

Webster said past Black History Month events were “very well received” both in the campus community and the Eau Claire community.

“It’s an opportunity to just get together as a university community and have a good time,” she said. “Hopefully not only will people be exposed to it, but they will find areas that they will like to explore further and have a greater understanding of the contributions of African Americans in black history.”

Black History Month Events

3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center: Reception hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs featuring African-American music, food and more.

6 and 8:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre: showings of “Guess Who’s Comingn to Dinner,” a 1967 film about a planned interracial marriage. Tickets are avaliable at the Service Center or at the door and cost $2 for International Film Society members and UW System faculty and starr and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students.

7:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center: Mohammed Bilal, former MTV Real World star and diversity consultant, will present “12 Steps Toward Appreciating Diversity, “: sponsored by the University Activities Commission. Admimssion is free.

7:30 p.m., February 12 in Zorn Arena: Evidence Dance Company will perform “Dance Stories by Ronald K. Brown,” sponsored by the Artist Series. Tickets are avaliable at the Service Center and cost $15 for the general public, $13 for UW System or CVTC faculty and starr and those 62 or older, and $5 for UW-Eau Claire or CVTV students and those 17 and younger.

1 p.m., February 20 in the President’s Room of Davies Center: Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, associate professor of history, will present on the influence of veterans on teh civil rights movement, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Admission is free.

7 p.m., February 22 in Phillips Recital Hall in Haas Fine Arts Center: Carlos Wiley, director of the Multicultural Educational Resource Center and dean of students at UW-Platteville, will present “Hip-Hop Generation.” Admission is free.

7:30 p.m., February 28 in Schofield Auditorium: Star Parker, African American journalist, founder and president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education and a commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, will present “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty,” sponsored by The Forum Series. Tickets are $7 for the publilc, $5 for those 62 and older, UW System or CVTC faculty and starr, and $3 for those 1 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets ar eavaliable at the Service Center or at the door.