Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University have several upcoming events scheduled in recognition of February as Black History Month.

“Berea College was founded to provide an interracial education for Appalachian youth,” said Felicia Mack of Berea College’s Residence Life and Collegium. “Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month, graduated from Berea College. Hosting events during Black History Month celebrates our rich legacy and the college’s continued commitment to providing experiences whereby all races celebrate each other.”

In “Legacy of Weyanoke: A Study of History through Harmony,” a cappella singers and performers will focus on songs and stories of the African Diaspora at 8 p.m. Feb. 7 at Phelps Stokes Auditorium at Berea College.

The event is co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center and African and African American Studies Department.

With a repertoire consisting of works spanning the history of the classical string quartet with special emphasis given to 20th century music by black composers, the Marian Anderson String Quartet will feature “Creating New and Diverse Audiences” at 8 p.m. Feb. 14 also at Phelps Stokes Auditorium.

Berea College’s annual Carter G. Woodson Memorial Convocation will feature Dr. Alton Hornsby, former editor of The Journal of Negro History and The Crisis and the Fuller E. Calloway professor of history at Morehouse College.

Hornsby will speak about “The Miseducation of the American People” at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Phelps Stokes Auditorium.

The event is co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center, the African and African American Studies Department and the Campus Christian Center.

The Berea College Theater also will present “West Side Story” at 8 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and Feb. 27-March 1 in the Jekyll Drama Center.

Written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, the production is loosely based on the classic “Romeo and Juliet,” but set in New York with street gangs, separated by both territory and ethnicity.

On Feb. 23, the Appalachian Center and Department of English, Theatre and Speech Communication at Berea College also will conduct “The Affrilachian Way: How to find the right words, then use them to change the world” workshop.

The writing workshop in poetry, fiction and performance poetry will be led by three Affrilachian poets: Crystal Wilkinson, Bianca Spriggs and Frank X Walker.

Each workshop will be offered in a two-hour session in the morning and afternoon. Preregistration is required, and a spot can be reserved by calling 985-3140.

“Programming events during Black History Month serves as another avenue where students are free to engage each other in ways they may not have done before,” Mack said. “It is our hope that students will meet and interact with people outside of their academic, labor and social circles.”

EKU

Eastern Kentucky University also has scheduled a variety of activities throughout February and early March in observance of Black History Month.

The African-American Read-In will be conducted from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 in the Grand Reading Room of the Crabbe Library.

Co-sponsored by EKU Libraries, the African/African-American Studies Program, the Office of Academic Integrity and the EKU Foundation, the event will feature a guest presentation by poet Bianca Spriggs-Floyd, followed by public readings.

Faculty, students, staff and community members are invited to participate by reading three- to five-minute excerpts from their favorite black writer.

The African/African-American Studies group and the Philosophy Club will debate at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Adams Auditorium in the Wallace Building, about whether the Jena Six incident should be the beginning of a new civil rights movement.

Debaters will include Dr. Aaron Thompson, Dr. Sherwood Thompson and Dr. Karen Wright McClain. The debate moderator is Dr. Carolyn Dupont.

The EKU Student Activities Council will host two public viewings of the movie “Hotel Rwanda” at 6 and 9 p.m. March 2 in O’Donnell Hall in the Student Services Building in preparation for a March 5 presentation by Paul Rusesabagina, who is the subject of the film.

Rusesabagina will present “Hotel Rwanda: A Story Yet to Be Told” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in Brock Auditorium.

General admission is $1 and faculty and staff admission is $10. Admission is free to high school, middle school and EKU students.

Bryan Marshall can be reached at bmarshall@richmondregister.com or 624-6691.

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