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January 30, 2012

Ben Vereen Headlines Black History Month at CCNY

Asase Yaa Djembeinthenewmillennium-252 

Pete Rock

Black History Month events at The City College of New York will include "Dance Through the African Diaspora," featuring the Asase Yaa African-American Dance Theatre (top), February 24, and the Third Annual "Is Hip Hop History?" conference, with DJ and producer Pete Rock (below) as a keynote speaker.

The City College of New York will celebrate Black History Month 2012 with a rich array of cultural events throughout February that includes exhibits, film screenings, conferences, lectures, discussions and performances.  

Among the highlights are: a lecture by actor Ben Vereen, February 27; a concert by George Brandon and The Blue Unity Orchestra, February 24, the Third Annual “Is Hip Hop History” conference, February 24 – 25, and the “Confronting the Carceral State II,” symposium, February 14.

Four City College units have organized Black History Month events: the Black Studies program, the Office of Government and Community Affairs, the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education and the Office of Student Life and Leadership Development, in concert with student organizations.

Unless noted otherwise, all events are free and open to the public. Event information, organized by category follows:

Exhibits

Through February 29, “The Long Walk to Freedom.” The untold stories of 16 ordinary people from diverse backgrounds who, through grassroots organizing, helped to change our nation and gave birth to the civil rights movement. Presented in association with Community Works. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through February 29, Aaron Davis Hall.

February 1 – 29, “Second Annual Black Studies Fine Art Exhibition,” Cohen Library Archives. “The Artists on Their Art” panel discussions 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 1; Tuesday, February 7; Tuesday, February 21, and Tuesday, February 28.

February 1 – 28, “Denim and Chrome,” 20 black & white photographs by Darius Vick illustrating black bikers in America, Center for Worker Education, seventh floor, 25 Broadway. Opening reception 6 – 8 p.m. Friday, February 3.

February 6 – 17, “Dancing on Amsterdam.” Projection exhibition of works by community artists, 6 p.m. – 12 midnight, Monday, February 6 – Friday, February 17, projection wall, North Academic Center.

February 6 – 29, “Dancing on Amsterdam.” Contemporary and vintage posters of African American dance companies. All day, Monday, February 6 – Wednesday, February 29, Windows of Amsterdam gallery, North Academic Center. Exhibit can be viewed from sidewalk.

Films

February 7, Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” 12 – 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, Room 6/316, North Academic Center.

February 9, “Brother to Brother,” 12:15 – 2 p.m. Thursday, February 9, Room 6/316, North Academic Center.

February 16, “Black to Cuba,” followed by discussion with producer Robin Hayes. 12 – 2 p.m. Thursday, February 16, Room 1/203, North Academic Center.

February 23, “Black August: A Hip-Hop Benefit Project,” followed by talk back with producer dream hampton. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 23, Room 1/202, North Academic Center.

February 24, “All the Ladies Say,” followed by a talk back with director and B-girl Ana “Rokafella” Garcia. 7 – 9 p.m., Friday, February 24, Center for Worker Education, seventh floor, 25 Broadway. Admission: Included for “Is Hip Hop History?” conference attendees. Event only: College students with valid I.D., $5; all others, $10.

February 25, “Style Wars,” followed by a discussion with producer Henry Chalfant. 1 – 3 p.m. Center for Worker Education, seventh floor, 25 Broadway. Admission: Included for “Is Hip Hop History?” conference attendees. Event only: College students with valid I.D., $5; all others, $10.

Lectures, Forums and Symposia

February 2, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Caribbean Student Association, Black Student Union and African Student Union, in collaboration with Office of Student Life & Leadership Development, will kick off Black History Month with an unveiling of notable African Americans who have had an impact on our history. 12 – 2 p.m. Thursday, February 2, Hoffman Lounge, North Academic Center.

February 9, Africana Ambassadors Panel Discussion. Ambassadors from Ghana, Senegal, Jamaica and Uganda discuss current international issues critical to understanding the United States’ actions in Africa and the Caribbean. 11 a.m. Thursday, February 9, Room 1/203, North Academic Center.

February 14, “Confronting the Carceral State II”: two panel discussions on the American prison-industrial complex with the Innocence Project, two exonorees and Khalil Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 1 -7 p.m. Tuesday, February 14, The Great Hall.  

February 16, Culture Pot food sale festival. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Caribbean Student Association, Black Student Union and African Student Union will sell cuisine that their cultures are known for. 12 – 2 p.m. Thursday, February 16, Rotunda, North Academic Center.

February 17, “Sugar Hill: Where the Sun Rises Over Harlem.” Author and City College alumna Terry Baker Mulligan reads from and signs copies of her memoir about growing up in Sugar Hill during the 1950s and 1960s. 12 – 2 p.m. Friday, February 17, Room 250, Shepard Hall.

February 23, journalist, author and filmmaker dream Hampton speaks about her documentary “Black August: A Hip-Hop Benefit Project,” about the annual hip-hop benefit to raise awareness and support for U.S. political prisoners. Time and location TBA.
 
February 24 – 25, Third Annual “Is Hip Hop History?” conference brings together scholars, artists, business people and students to examine the cultural phenomenon that has revolutionized everything from music to fashion. Keynote speakers are DJ and producer Pete Rock and author Dax-Devlon Ross. 5 – 9 p.m. Friday, February 24, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, February 25, Center for Worker Education, seventh floor, 25 Broadway. Admission: College students with valid I.D: $10 for one day, $20 for both days. All others: $20 for one day, $30 for both days.

February 26, Dr. Gordon Thompson, director of the Black Studies program at City College, discusses assimilationist impulse among African American literary figures. Reception and panel discussion to follow. Lecture, 10 – 11 a.m.; panel discussion in the undercroft, 1 – 3 p.m. Sunday, February 26, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 134th Street and Seventh Ave.

February 27, actor Ben Vereen, who portrayed “Chicken George” in the historic television mini series “Roots,” discusses blackface minstrelsy and his personal contribution to this controversial theatrical phenomenon with a screening of his portrayal of Bert Williams, the early 20th Century vaudevillian, whom Vereen portrayed on a Boston Pops TV special. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 27, Aaron Davis Hall.

February 28, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Caribbean Student Association, Black Student Union and African Student Union, in collaboration with Office of Student Life & Leadership Development, will close Black History Month with a celebration with music and guest speakers. 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, February 28, Hoffman Lounge, North Academic Center.

February 29, “S.T.E.M. Disciplines and the Social Sciences in Dialogue,” a discussion among students, faculty and community spokespersons to explore a model for a joint college-community structured mentorship program to enhance student learning, resilience and agency in order to achieve academic excellence and success. 5 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 29, Faculty Dining Room, North Academic Center.

February 29, Juan de Dios Mosquera, national director of CIMARRON, Colombia’s oldest community-based organization aimed at advancing the human and civil rights of Afro-Colombians. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 29, Room 1/203, North Academic Center.
 
Performance

February 24, “Dance Through the African Diaspora,” featuring the Kow Teff African Dance Company and the Asase Yaa African-American Dance Theatre. 7 p.m. Friday, February 24, Aaron Davis Hall. Tickets are $20.

February 24, George Brandon and The Blue Unity Orchestra: Legacy Concert, promoting the work of African, African-American and Afro-Diasporic composers. This year’s event will feature the music of the Panamanian-born jazz composer Jorge Sylvester and the Afro-Caribbean Experimental Collective. 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 24, North Academic Center Ballroom.

Black History Month events organized by the Black Studies program are co-sponsored by the Office of President Lisa S. Coico, the Department of History, the Simon H. Rifkind Center, the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service, RAP-SI (BMI), the Skadden Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Swann Galleries, the Langston Hughes Festival, Harlem Arts Alliance, Tod Roulette Fine Arts, Diversity Projects Development Fund, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, among others.  

Professor Gordon Thompson, director of the Black Studies program, wishes to acknowledge the coordinators who organized the events: Associate Professor of History Venus Green; Lecturer in Anthropology M. A. Samad-Matias; Lecturer in English Jo-Ann Hamilton; Lecturer in Theatre and Speech Brandon Judell; Assistant Professor of Sociology R. L’Heureux Lewis; Associate Medical Professor George Brandon; Georgina Falu of the Black Studies program; Rodney Dotson, and Tod Roulette of Tod Roulette Fine Art.

Additional information about Black History Month events at The City College of New York can be found on CCNY’s calendar of events and the Black Studies program web site.

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