Youngstown State University’s African Studies Program has scheduled a series of events during Black History Month in February. For more information on the events, call 330-941-3097.
6:30 p.m. Friday: Art Exhibit by Maple Turner in Bliss Hall Gallery and panel discussion in the McDonough Museum of Art. Turner is a native of Youngstown who began painting at age 6 with encouragement from his father, Maple Turner Jr., an avid collector of African Art and sculptures. After six years of painting, Turner attended YSU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, then moved to New York to pursue a career as an artist. While in New York, Turner sold his paintings to numerous galleries and private collectors. He earned an associate degree in fine art at the Parson School of Design. Later, in Paris, he created a series of French-inspired collections, and upon returning to New York, he attended City College, where he earned his master’s in fine art. Turner works in watercolor, acrylic, oil, sand and reused materials.
7 p.m. Feb. 11: Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center. Keynote lecture by Molefi Asante, professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University. Asante has been recognized as one of the 10 most widely read African-American scholars. He earned a doctorate from UCLA in 1968 and has published 74 books, including “As I Run Toward Africa,” “The African American People” and “African American History: Journey of Liberation,” which is used as a textbook in more than 400 schools in North America. It is co-sponsored by the Youngstown Board of Education, Youngstown School Parent Association and the Family Institute of Youngstown.
6:30 p.m. Feb. 18: Ohio Room of Kilcawley Center. “Modern Day Slavery in Human Trafficking,” lecture by Denise Narcisse, associate professor, YSU Department of Anthropology and Sociology. In Ohio, an estimated 1,078 children are victims of human trafficking, and 3,016 more are at risk. Gov. John Kasich’s executive order forming the Ohio Trafficking Task Force was designed to deal with the problem by marshaling the necessary state resources and building public awareness. Narcisse has done extensive research on human trafficking and its impact on victims and the community.
7 p.m. Feb. 22: Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center. Panel discussion on the legacy of Nelson Mandela. When Mandela died in December at age 95, he left a legacy as an outstanding and incomparable freedom fighter, a statesman and an exemplary leader of great renown, not only in his home country of South Africa, but also in the world at large. After enduring 27 years of torture and hard labor on Robben Island, Mandela emerged from prison to become the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Panelists: Daniel Ayana, History Department; Dolores Sisco, English Department; Frank Ackpadock, Senior Researcher, Regional Center for Urban Studies; David Porter, Political Science Department; Samuel Adu-Poku, Department of Art Education; and Christian Onwudiwe, Department of Criminal Justice.
Feb. 26: Jones Room of Kilcawley Center, poetry reading. A poetry competition on subject matter related to Africa or the African-American experience, or expressions inspired by historical figures. A maximum of two submissions per individual should be forwarded to the Africana Studies Program by Feb. 21. A panel of judges will select the three best poems to receive prizes.