Black History Month at UGA Celebrates Du Bois “The Souls of Black Folk

ATHENS, Ga. – In 1903, W.E.B. du Bois published his treatise The Souls of Black Folk. “Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century,” wrote du Bois. “This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” One hundred years later, du Bois’ now-famous work continues to be relevant.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of du Bois’ publication, the Office of Minority Services and Programs at the University of Georgia, in conjunction with departments from across campus, celebrates Black History Month with “The Souls of Black Folk, 100th Anniversary: Centennial Reflections.” Throughout February, a wide range of events is scheduled – from lectures to film screenings, from variety shows and plays to readings. Black History Month at UGA culminates with the Daryl Snyder Lecture delivered by Charlayne Hunter-Gault on Friday, Feb. 28.

Events begin with a lecture by Hasani Pettiford, author and financial consultant who will discuss the creation of a “proper prosperity consciousness.” Pettiford’s lecture begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, in the North PJ Auditorium. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Roger Guenveur Smith visits UGA for the Center for Humanities and Arts-Peabody Conversation Series. Smith will discuss his Peabody Award-winning “A Huey P. Newton Story,” his one-man play adapted for television and directed by Spike Lee.

Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk is the topic of a book discussion led by Derrick Alridge, assistant professor of education, and Robert Pratt, professor of history, at Adinkra Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at noon. Also on Wednesday, the Peabody Awards Collection begins a series of screenings with “Somebody a Black Kid Could Hang Out With: Animated Children’s Programs Featuring African-American Characters.” Screenings later in the month include “The Flip Wilson Show” and HBO’s “Boycott” among others.

On Friday, Feb. 7, an African village market will be held in the Reception Hall at the Tate Student Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A day-long symposium on “Cultural Diversity at UGA in the 21st Century” begins at 9 a.m. on the same day. Georgia Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond is the keynote speaker.

Readings throughout the month include cultural criticism by Betty Bush, poetry by Stephanie Chrismon, nonfiction by Laura Wexler, biography by Michael Datcher and history by UGA professor Diane Batts Morrow.

The Black Theatrical Ensemble at UGA presents “Amen Corner” at the historic Morton Theater in downtown Athens beginning Friday, Feb. 14. On Monday, Feb. 17, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity recognizes African-American men at UGA with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at its Scholars Recognition Ceremony. The Dreaded Mindz Family presents a variety show, “Nubian Expressions: Now Is the Time,” on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel.

Black History Month at UGA concludes with the 11th Annual Daryl Snyder Lecture delivered by Charlayne Hunter-Gault who, along with Hamilton Holmes, was one of the first African-American students to attend the university. Hunter-Gault received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UGA in 1963. She was a featured correspondent on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” on PBS for a number of years followed by chief correspondent duties for NPR in Africa. She is currently CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief in South Africa.

For a complete list of Black History Month events at UGA, visit www.uga.edu/msp/bhm2003.html.