A listing of local events to celebrate Black History Month in February.
Youngstown State University
Wednesday: “Sherekea: The Black Heritage Festival,” 6:30 p.m., Kilcawley Center, Chestnut Room. This celebration of many aspects of black culture recognizes traditions and talents rooted in South American, African, Caribbean and American cultures. The event will include poetry readings, a gospel choir and mime performances, Harambee and step dancers, and foods of various cultures. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Housing & Residence Life. Sherekea is Swahili for celebrate.
Thursday: Art Exhibition and Panel Discussion “Recreation: Green Art Forms,” 5 p.m. reception, Bliss Hall Gallery; 6 p.m. panel discussion; 7 p.m. McDonough Museum of Art. Christine Bethea is a nationally renowned artist and arts educator from Pittsburgh. Although she commonly refers to herself as “The Accidental Artist,” her works have been featured in a national best-selling quilt book, “A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers and Their Stories,” by Roland L. Freeman. Bethea has received numerous awards as an arts administrator, curator and supporter of the visual arts. She recently co-founded Passports, an art diversity project that promotes the work of artists of all backgrounds in southwestern Pennsylvania. Her art will be on display at the Bliss Hall Art Gallery, College of Fine and Performing Arts, throughout the month. The event is co-sponsored by the College of Fine & Performing Arts.
Saturday: The African Marketplace, noon to 6 p.m., Kilcawley Center, Chestnut Room. The marketplace offers a range of dazzling sights and objects to view, sample and purchase, ranging from art objects, jewelry and Afrocentric writings to creations that are rare and hard to find. The variety of goods and products represents the creative genius of Africans and black Americans. Entertainment will be presented by the dynamic Harambee Youth Group.
Feb. 10: Black Faculty Research Showcase and Panel Discussion, 6:30 p.m., Kilcawley Center, The Gallery. The panel discussion will be on their current and future research projects. Selected black faculty will display their publications in Maag Library.
Feb. 13: A play, “Boys, Pull Your Pants Up,” 5:45 p.m., Kilcawley Center, Chestnut Room. This theatrical performance is based on a new book by Akron novelist Jewelene Banks. It satirizes the current style among black youths of wearing their pants below their waists. The impact of negative hip-hop styles and videos is closely scrutinized. Banks’ message is simple: Appearance matters, and the first impressions mean everything, especially to talented youth.
Feb. 20: Lecture: 'African Architects of Egyptian Civilization,” Anthony Browder, 7 p.m., Kilcawley Center, Ohio Room. Browder is a cultural historian on ancient Egypt, an author, publisher, artist and educational consultant. He is a graduate of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts and has lectured extensively in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, Japan and Europe. He is the founder and director of Cultural Resources and has spent 28 years researching ancient Egyptian history, science, philosophy and culture. He is author of publications that include “Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization,” “Egypt on the Potomac,” and “Decoding Egyptian Architecture and Symbolism.” Browder’s books will be on display, and he will be available for book signing after the lecture.
Feb. 23: Lecture: Africanist Value-Centered Education in the Global Village, 7 p.m., Kilcawley Center, the Gallery Room. Dr. Yvonne Brown is a Canadian educator who has done extensive research on the link between colonization and globalization. She has sponsored international service-learning projects in Africa and Canada. In her position as manager of international initiatives for the faculty of education at the University of British Columbia, she has analyzed and interpreted the university’s internationalization policy and weighed its implications for education. Papers and articles she has written include “Green Paper on Internationalization.”
Feb. 26: Keynote Lecture: Dr. Cornel West, Skeggs Lecturer, 7:30 p.m., Stambaugh Auditorium, Fifth Avenue. A professor of religion and African-American Studies at Princeton University, West is one of America’s most pre-eminent and prolific public intellectuals. He is a much sought-after speaker in universities across the country addressing a variety of topics across disciplines to various audiences. He is the recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and a National Book Award. His numerous books include “Prophecy Deliverance: An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity,” “Race Matters,” “Democracy Matters” and “Hope on a Tightrope.”
Wednesday: Press conference 9 a.m. The Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown. Announcing the Butler’s programming celebrating Black History Month: Featuring portraits of notable black Americans by Bill Dotson. Dotson will be at the Butler in Youngstown each afternoon during the month of February demonstrating his unique drawing skills. Images of Dotson working will also be featured during February on the Butler’s Web site, www.butlerart.com.
The Butler’s exhibition of montage works by Charles Mingus III. The artist Charles Mingus III has become recognized as one of America’s most gifted and versatile artists. A native of Los Angeles, his work is a part of the collections of such distinguished collectors as Daniel Filipacchi, Ivan Karp, the Estates of Larry Rivers, Willem deKooning, Baroness de Koengswarter Rothschild and Allen Stone. Additionally, Mingus’ work is represented in corporate collections such as Fort Mason Capital, LLC in San Francisco.
Works from three centuries of black American art from the Butler collection including pieces by Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Scott Duncanson, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Leonnard Hendricks, Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Hughie Lee-Smith, Joseph Norman, Joseph Holston and Martin Puryear are on view. A special unveiling by Mayor and Mrs. Jay Williams. Refreshments will be served.
Friday: Youngstown Warren Ohio Black Nurses Organization will celebrate minority nurses on this day. U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., was instrumental in getting Congress to establish the first Friday in February as the day to acknowledge contributions to health care and society made by black nurses. The first celebration was in 1988. Today, the National Black Nurses Association is made up of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and student nurses.
Feb. 15: Black History Month Youth All City Variety Show and Dance, 4 to 8 p.m., Buckeye Elks Youth Center, 421 North Ave., $5 at the door or $4 if you bring a can of food to be donated to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley. There will be singers, dancers, singing groups, rappers, comedians, dance groups and poets. Winners will be on YouTube and can be seen all over the world. Youths from grade school to high school can sign up. The audience will pick the winners. To sign up, call DJ Gregie J, the producer of the Obama Line Dance, at (330) 720-2485 or the Elks at (330) 746-9486.
Feb. 21: The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will host a panel discussion “Discovering African-American History in the Mahoning Valley” at 4 p.m. The discussion will include community historians actively researching and disseminating information about important people, places and events in the Mahoning Valley’s black community. Panelists are Stacey Adger, Steffon Jones, Vince Shivers and Judy Williams. Moderator is Bill Lawson. This free event will be in the MVHS Carriage House, behind the Arms Family Museum, 648 Wick Ave. Support for the program is provided by Ruth H. Beecher Charitable Trust.
MOUNT UNION COLLEGE, ALLIANCE
Thursday: Herman Boone, former head coach of the Titans football team whose story was captured in the Disney film “Remember the Titans,” will present the keynote address at 7 p.m. in the Mount Union Theatre. In 1971 in Alexandria, Va., Boone was named head coach of the Titans football team at the new, integrated T.C. Williams High School. He and Bill Yoast, head coach of the former white Hammond High, were able to put aside their prejudices and led the Titans to a state championship. In anticipation of Boone’s appearance, students are invited to watch the movie at the Black Cultural Center at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Feb. 18: Black History 101 Mobile Museum will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Campus Grounds of the Hoover-Price Campus Center. This exhibit, by founder and originator Khalid el-Hakim, is a grass-roots-based project that displays museum-quality black memorabilia.
Feb. 18: Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, an American rapper and spoken-word artist, will perform in the Mount Union Theatre at 7 p.m. “Professor Griff” is a former member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy.
Feb. 26: Basheer Jones, host of the “Basheer Jones and Company Morning Show” of Radio-One Cleveland, will speak at 7 p.m. at Mount Union Theatre. A graduate of Morehouse College, Jones is a published author of poetry and opened up for The Def Poetry Jam at Emory University.
All of the above events are all free and open to the public.
Feb. 21: Annual Black Student Union Fashion Show will be at 7 p.m. in the Mount Union Theatre. Tickets are $5, or $3 with a canned-food donation. All food items will be taken to Feed My Sheep Ministries in Alliance for distribution to the community.
For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at (330) 823-7288.