In celebration of Black History Month, Wittenberg University is hosting a number of events throughout the month of February.
Black History Month has been recognized in the United States since 1976 and in many other countries around the world including Canada and the U.K., which devote a month to celebrating black history.
The events will be presented by Wittenberg’s Concerned Black Students (CBS). CBS, an organization that empowers students of color while educating the University on diversity issues, formed at the end of the tumultuous Civil Rights era of the 1960s in an effort to gain a voice on campus and has evolved into an organization that doesn’t just embrace African Americans, but all Wittenberg students through a variety of events and activities. In recent years, CBS has partnered with such student organizations as the Gay Straight Alliance, the American International Association, the W.A.G.E. Womyn’s Center, and Student Senate to provide campus programming opportunities.
CBS operates out of the refurbished William A. McClain Center for Diversity, named for the groundbreaking Cincinnati-based attorney and member of Wittenberg’s class of 1934. One of the most respected, trailblazing attorneys in the nation, McClain received numerous honors during his illustrious career, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes the achievements of outstanding ethnic Americans and their contributions to America. McClain, who also earned the Wittenberg Medal of Honor, passed away in February 2014 at the age of 101.
The McClain Center for Diversity and CBS invite the campus community to attend the following programs, including CBS Black Excellence Week from Feb. 10-15, in honor of Black History Month. Follow @wittenbergcbs on Instagram for a full calendar of events:
- Feb. 10 – Jamal Parker Poetry Slam: A spoken word performance and workshop featuring Jamal Parker, poet and teaching artist, will be from 2 to 3 p.m. in room 131 of Hollenbeck Hall followed by the spoken word performance from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Post at the student center. Parker has published his own book of poetry, is an international slam poetry champion, and an artist. The event is co-sponsored by Residence Hall Association (RHA), the Writing Center, the McClain Center for Diversity, and the English, sociology, philosophy, education, and psychology departments at Wittenberg.
- Feb. 11 – Hair Trivia: Come learn about black hair and win some cool prizes. This event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Founders Pub.
- Feb. 12 – Don’t Forget the Lyrics: Be prepared to finish the line of many songs with a live DJ in Founders Pub from 7 to 9 p.m.
- Feb. 13 – Rep Your Set: Wear CBS gear or something that represents CBS and tag CBS on Instagram, @wittenbergcbs. Bring a canned food item to the McClain Center to donate to CBS’ Day of Service.
- Feb. 14 – Valentine Skate Date: Love is in the air, and it wants to skate the night away. The first 30 to like the post on IG @wittenbergcbs get to go to the rink at 7:30 p.m.
- Feb. 15 – CBS Party: It’s a party, period. The theme is Afrochella, so pop out with CBS in Founders from 8 p.m. to midnight.
- Feb. 16 – Dance, Stomp, and Shake: Come out and watch the dance and step show for free at the John Legend Theater at The Dome, located at 700 S. Limestone St. in Springfield, 5 p.m.
- Feb. 17 – Chicago Footwork at Witt: Featuring Prince JRon, LilBit, Pause Eddie, and Assistant Professor of English Sha’Dawn Battle, Chicago Footwork will feature two events - a workshop and a presentation. The “Watch My Feet” workshop will take place at 2:15 p.m. in Ness Auditorium at Hollenbeck Hall. The spiritual and liberatory dance presentation by Chicago Footwork will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room 300 of Krieg Hall. The event is co-sponsored by the McClain Center for Diversity, Faculty Endowment Fund Board (FEFB) and the English, sociology, philosophy, education and psychology departments at Wittenberg. Note: English majors can receive colloquium credit for attending this event.
- Feb. 18 – Chicago Footwork Lecture: Presented by Assistant Professor of English Sha’Dawn Battle, the topic will be “Praisesong and Chicago Footwork: Locating a Black Diasporic Spiritual Heritage.” The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. at Bayley Auditorium in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. The event is co-sponsored by the McClain Center for Diversity, Faculty Endowment Fund Board (FEFB) and the English, sociology, philosophy, education and psychology departments at Wittenberg. Note: English majors can receive colloquium credit for attending this event.
- Feb. 19 – Justice Talk: Titled “Hallelujah, the Saviors are Here,” this event will take place at 5 p.m. in the AV theatre room at the Thomas Library.
Black History Month calendar sponsors include the McClain Center for Diversity, CBS students, Associate Professor of Philosophy Julius Bailey, Assistant Professor of English Sha’Dawn Battle, FEFB, the Womyn’s Center, RHA, the Writing Center, Student Development, the AmeriCorps Student Resource Center, and the English, sociology, philosophy, education, and psychology departments at Wittenberg.
About Black History Month
Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans. Recognized in the United States since 1976 and also in many other countries around the world, including Canada and the U.K., the month grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.