January 31, 2019 at 12:15pm
Dane Lisser

Black History Month speakers include Ebony Stewart and Bryant K. Smith

Millikin University will celebrate Black History Month by hosting a series of events throughout the month of February. 

Black History Month originated in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson promoted what was known as "Negro History Week" in an effort to educate people about the accomplishments of African Americans. In 1976, the celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. Black History Month is celebrated to remember important individuals and events in African American history.

The following is a list of Black History Month 2019 events at Millikin University.

Feb. 1-28

Fill in the Blank: "Black IS…" Interactive Marketing Campaign

Community Bulletin Board, Shilling Hall Bulletin Board

Sponsored by the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Pens, markers and post-its will be provided.

Friday, Feb. 1

"Honoring HERstory" Gallery Opening, Decatur Area Arts Council in downtown Decatur

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Artist Talk at 6 p.m.

Four dynamic African American women artists. Four art forms – paintings, photography, sculpture and textiles that honor the dignity and heroism of African American women throughout history.

Bryant SmithMonday, Feb. 4

"Black History before Black Panther & Beyond"

4 – 5 p.m.

Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance in the University Commons

A multimedia experience presented by Bryant K. Smith. A Q&A session will be held following the presentation. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Kirkland Fine Arts Center: The Langston Hughes Project by Ron McCurdy

7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $25-$35; Student Tickets: $10

A multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes' kaleidoscopic Jazz poem suite, "Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz" - Hughes' homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s.

By way of videography, this concert performance links the words and music of Hughes' poetry to topical images of "Ask Your Mama's" people, places, and events, and to the works of the visual artists Langston Hughes admired or collaborated with most closely over the course of his career. Together the words, sounds and images recreate a magical moment in our cultural history, which bridges the Harlem Renaissance, the post-World War II Beat writers' coffeehouse jazz poetry world, and the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960s.

Monday, Feb. 11

Coffee & Conversation Series: "The African American Studies Minor"

2 – 4 p.m.

Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance in the University Commons

Join the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement for another installment of the Coffee & Conversation series presented by Dr. Ngozi Onuora, Dr. Julio Enriquez-Ornelas, Dr. Anne Matthews, Dr. Melissa Scircle and Dr. Paul Toure. A Q&A session will be held following the presentation. Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Spoken Word/Interdisciplinary Theater Artist Ebony Stewart

8 p.m.

Einstein's Bagels in Shilling Hall

Ebony Stewart

The University Center Board (UCB) presents spoken word artist Ebony Stewart, the only adult female three-time Slam Champion in Austin, Texas. Ebony Stewart is a touring performance arts spoken word poet and active artist in the central Texas slam poetry scene and theater arts community for over 10 years. She has coached Austin Neo Soul and Austin Poetry Slam, finishing 1st and 5th at the National Poetry Slam and They Speak Youth Slam, and finishing 8th in the world at Brave New Voices.

Stewart has shared stages with many brilliant artists including the late Amiri Baraka. In 2015, Stewart debuted her first one woman show, "Hunger," at The VORTEX Theatre, which was nominated for a B. Iden Payne award for Outstanding Original Script and won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.

Friday, Feb. 15

"Celebration of African American Art - Paint & Sip"

6:30 – 9 p.m.

Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Room, 3rd floor of the University Commons

Join the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and Sister Circle as we discover and celebrate African American art through art history and a paint session led by senior art major Alyssa Farmer. This is a free painting event and refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

Soul Food Lunch

Dining Hall in the University Commons

In collaboration with Dining Services, the first 50 guests will receive a free lunch courtesy of the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement.

For more information about Millikin University's celebration of Black History Month, contact Derrick Sosinski, coordinator for Inclusion and Student Engagement, at dsosinski@millikin.edu.