Arts Campus News Society & Culture

UGA to celebrate African-American women during Black History Month

Athens, Ga. – Black women and their contributions to American history and culture will be highlighted on the University of Georgia campus in February as the university celebrates Black History Month.

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 at UGA.

“Almost all of our programs will tie into the theme, which is a national theme” of highlighting contributions African-American women have made to American history and culture, 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., the Chapel
This tense play is a dramatization of a conversation between civil rights icons Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Admission is free.

Feb. 8 – APERO Brown Bag Discussion: “How the Accusation of Acting White Influences Leisure Preferences,” 12:15 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall
The discussion is co-sponsored by the Institute for African American Studies and the Institute for African Studies.

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 structure of African-American family dynamics past and present.

Feb. 16 – “Where are the Black Ballet Dancers in America?” 4 p.m., 407 Memorial Hall
Joselli Deans and Anjali Austin, artists and scholars formerly with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, will discuss how they fought their way into the exclusive world of dance.

Feb. 17 – Dinner, Movie and Discussion: “The Help,” 6 p.m., Tate Student Center Theater and Reception Hall
This screening of the 2011 box office success, based on an influential novel, will be followed by dinner and a discussion. The event is sponsored by the Committee for Black Cultural Programs, a division of the University Union Student Programming Board.

Feb. 19 – “Black Roses,” presented by the Black Theatrical Ensemble, 7 p.m., Tate Student Center Grand Hall
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 non-students. Tickets may be purchased at the Tate Student Center 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 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, Ga., 4 p.m., the Chapel
Dixon will share her path to elected office and discuss the obstacles faced by women in politics.

Feb. 23 – “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.

All events are student Blue Card events. For questions and ticket information, call 706/542-8468 or see The African American Cultural Center is a unit within the UGA Division of Student Affairs.