Wittenberg plans events to celebrate Black History Month

Wittenberg University will host several events and activities in celebration of Black History Month.

The month will start with a series of six events featuring a diverse lineup of speakers titled “Aesthetics In Black: A Series on Race, Art and Expression.” The series, which is free and open to the public, was organized by Julius Bailey, Wittenberg professor and chair of philosophy and director of African & Diaspora Studies and Justice, Law & Public Policy.

He said Wittenberg University “has organized this lecture series to celebrate and explore the rich contributions of African Americans to the nation’s artistic heritage and dedicated to promoting an open dialogue on crucial topics surrounding art, race, and representation.”

“This series promises to be a unique opportunity for the community to engage with these outstanding speakers, gain fresh perspectives and celebrate the richness of African American contributions to the arts,” Bailey said.

The series includes programs on:

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2:30 p.m. in Ness Auditorium inside Hollenbeck Hall. The series will start with a lecture titled “LWB: Loving While Black – A Radical Ethic.”

Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning. Sierra Leone, a poet and writer, who is the president, artistic director and co-founder of the OFP Theatre and Production Company, will join the series with “Not my dust, But my Story,” an exploration of the power of storytelling.

Thursday, Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Ness Auditorium. Chad Sloss, a sociology scholar, practitioner and researcher specializing in education, culture and conflict analysis, will present “Hip Hop: The Creation of Culture.”

Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the Koch Hall Auditorium. Jamaal Durr, a contemporary artist known for his figurative mixed media works and portrait drawings, will speak on “Fear, Belonging and Being a Black Millennial Artist.”

Monday, Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. at Chakeres Memorial Theatre. Howard Washington, founder and creative director of Dance Elevated Studio in Independence, Ohio, who specializes in choreography, will present a dialogue and mini-dance workshop “Elevating the Creative in You.”

Tuesday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m. in the Koch Hall Auditorium. Kent Brooks, professor of religious and spiritual life at Northwestern University, will discuss “Black Musical History: Blurring the Sacred vs. Secular Line.”

The other events are:

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. Step Afrika!, founded in 1994 as the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, will have a concert at the 1929 Gym, part of the Health, Wellness, & Athletics Complex. The group integrates percussive dance and African traditional dance with songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation.

Sunday, Feb. 18, 3 p.m. Dance, Stomp, Shake, “the hottest dance show in the Midwest,” will take place at the Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Drive in Dayton. This year’s competition features hip hop and majorette teams from two states and seven cities competing for $4,500 in cash.

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m. The Queer Documentary Series feature “Tongues Untied.” This event is free and open to current Wittenberg students and will take place at a location to be announced later. A panel discussion will follow.

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