Campus News

Black History Month focuses on historical contributions of African-American women

Highlighting black women and their contributions to American history and culture will be the theme of the February Black History Month celebration on campus.

From civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Mahalia Jackson to modern icons like professional boxer Laila Ali and first lady Michelle Obama, black women will take center stage during a month-long series of lectures, performances, movies and discussions.

“Almost all of our programs will tie into that theme, which is a national theme,” said LaRetha Spain-Shuler, associate director of intercultural affairs at UGA. “We wanted to reflect the contributions of African-American women in history and in the present day. For example, our keynote speaker is Mary Evelyn Dickson, who can talk of her own background, how she was homeless at one point and now she’s the mayor of Riverdale.”

Events are as follows:

• Feb. 1 – The Meeting, 6 p.m., Chapel. This play is a dramatization of a conversation between civil rights icons Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Admission is free.
• Feb. 2 – Lecture, 5 p.m., Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Special Collections Auditorium. Author Vincent Caretta, a professor at the University of Maryland, will discuss his book Phillis Wheatley: Biography of Genius in Bondage, the first full-length biography of the first English-speaking person of African descent to publish a book and only the second woman—of any race or background­—to do so in America. It is sponsored by the UGA Press.
• Feb. 2 – Lecture: “The Benefits of Diversity for White Students,” 7 p.m. Chapel. Robert Garda, a professor at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law will give a lecture based on his recently published Florida Law Review article “The White Interest in School Diversity.” The lecture is sponsored by the Education Law Students Association.
• Feb. 2 – Screening of the film Black Dynamite, 7 p.m. 248 Miller Learning Center. Part of the African American Studies Film Festival.
• Feb. 8 – APERO Brown Bag Discussion: “How the Accusation of Acting White Influences Leisure Preferences,” 12:15 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall. Presented by Bantu D. Gross, the discussion is co-sponsored by the Institute for African American Studies, the Institute for African Studies and the African American Cultural Center.
• Feb. 9 – “The Death of the African American Family,” 12:30 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall. Tera Hurt of the Institute for Behavioral Research will explore the current and past structure of African-American family dynamics.
• Feb. 9 – Screening of the film Antwone Fisher, 7 p.m. 248 Miller Learning Center. Part of the African American Studies Film Festival.
• Feb. 13 – Speaker Jeff Johnson, 8 p.m. Grand Hall, Tate Center. Part of the Committee for Black Cultural Programming’s Week of Soul.
• Feb. 14 – Committed and AfroBlue, acapella groups from The Sing Off television show, 8 p.m., Grand Hall, Tate Center. $10 (advance)/$15 (day of show); free for UGA students. Part of the Committee for Black Cultural Programming’s Week of Soul.
• Feb. 15 – S.E.L.L.O.U.T. comedy show, 8 p.m. Tate Theatre. $5 (in advance)/$10 (day of show; free for UGA students. Part of the Committee for Black Cultural Programming’s Week of Soul.
• Feb. 16 – “Where are the Black Ballet Dancers in America?” 4 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall. Joselli Deans and Anjali Austin, scholars and artists formerly with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, will discuss how they fought their way into the world of dance. The discussion is co-sponsored  by the department of dance and the African American Studies Institute.
• Feb. 16 – “An Evening with the Blues,” 6-9 p.m. M. Smith Griffith Grand Hall, Georgia Museum of Art. The Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art present a
dinner celebrating Black History Month and in honor of Larry and Brenda Thompson. Join the Friends for cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by a gallery talk on Jay Robinson’s “Billie Holliday Singing the Blues” by Paul Manoguerra, dinner catered by the National and a performance by Kyshona Armstrong. $40. RSVP to 706-542-0830 by Feb. 9.
• Feb. 16 – Movie Night: School Daze, 8 p.m. Tate Theatre. Part of the Committee for Black Cultural Programming’s Week of Soul.
• Feb. 17 – Dinner, Movie and Discussion: The Help, 6 p.m., Tate Theatre and Reception Hall. This screening of the 2011 box office hit, based on an influential novel, will be followed by dinner and a discussion. The event is co-sponsored by the Committee for Black Cultural Programs and the University Union.
• Feb. 19 – Black Roses, presented by the Black Theatrical Ensemble, 7 p.m., Grand Hall, Tate Center.
This play will feature poetry, songs and notable scenes from African-American romantic comedies. Tickets are $2 for fees-paid students with valid UGACards on the Athens campus and $3 for everyone else. Tickets may be purchased at the Tate Student Center’s cashier window or by calling 706-542-8074.
• Feb. 22 – APERO Brown Bag Discussion: “A Mediator’s Work,” 12:15 p.m.,
 407 Memorial Hall. The discussion by Raye M. Rawls, a public service associate at the Fanning Institute, is co-sponsored by the Institute for African American Studies and the Institute for African Studies.
• Feb. 22 – Keynote Address: Mayor Evelyn Dixon of Riverdale, 4 p.m., Chapel. Dixon will share her path to elected office and discuss the obstacles faced by women in politics.
• Feb. 23 – Panel Discussion: “The Emerging Black Church,” 6 p.m., 171 Miller Learning Center. Community members, pastors and students will discuss the role of the black church in the community. The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for African American Studies.
• Feb. 28 – “We Have Issues: Representations of African-American Women in Contemporary Media,” 7 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall. This panel discussion will explore contemporary images of African Diaspora women in entertainment, including music videos, reality television and film. Topics will include skin color, image, materialism and stereotypes.
• Feb. 29 – “Confessions of a Big Girl: Reflections on Fat, Faith and Femininity,” 4 p.m., South Psychology-Journalism Auditorium. Author Naima Johnston Bush will discuss cultural definitions of beauty, faith, eating disorders, sexual assault and discovering the power of your own voice.