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UW-Eau Claire Announces Activities in Honor of Black History Month

RELEASED: Jan. 24, 2006

Black History Month posterEAU CLAIRE — Black History Month at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will kick off a few days early this year with the return of Jabali Afrika for a free University Activities Commission concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, in Schofield Auditorium.

From East Africa's Kenya, Jabali Afrika is a truly multi-faceted group, with its own unique blend of fusion and African rhythms. Original compositions and traditional African melodies come alive on a wide variety of instruments, accompanied by vocal harmonies that form the foundation of modern rock, jazz, gospel, blues and more. Talented dancing and choreography, topped off with stunning African tribal costumes, make for a truly multicultural experience.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a reception in honor of Black History Month from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center. The reception will feature profiles of famous African-Americans and their contributions to history, as well as samples of African-American foods. Information on other events planned for Black History Month also will be available.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular, a New York City hip-hop dance company, will open the spring semester of the Artists Series at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena. The ensemble's performance is a tribute to a distinctive American art form with hazy African roots that run deep through the streets of inner cities. Comprised of five elements — Dance, MC (or "rap"), DJ, Graffiti, and Fashion — hip-hop is improvised and recombined in a myriad of rhythms and styles so that the dance form reinvents itself continually. Reserved seating tickets are available at the University Service Center (715) 836-3727; general admission tickets also will be sold at the door.

On Monday, Feb. 6, UW-Eau Claire will participate in the National Council of Teachers of English 17th Annual African-American Read-In from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Penthouse of Hibbard Hall. Dr. David Jones, associate professor of English and Women's Studies, will be the featured reader. Children from the UW-Eau Claire children's center will attend, but the event is also free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jones at (715) 836-4949 or jonesm@uwec.edu, or visit the NCTE Web site.

From 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, associate professor of history, will host a free showing of the film "February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four" in the Davies Theatre. The film tells the story of four college freshmen who changed the course of American history. On Feb.1, 1960, Ezell Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil — later dubbed the Greensboro Four — began a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in a small city in North Carolina. The act of simply sitting down to order food in a restaurant that refused service to anyone but whites is now widely regarded as one of the pivotal moments in the American Civil Rights Movement. This film reveals how these idealistic college students became friends and inspired one another to stage the sit-in, and how the burden of history has impacted their lives ever since. The film has been shown on public television.

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, guest speaker Dennis Biddle will give a presentation titled "Experiences in Negro League Baseball" in the Davies Theatre. Biddle is president of Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players Foundation, LLC, an organization that provides medical and other types of assistance to former Negro League ball players and also seeks to educate the public about the history of the league and the hardships faced by the early African-American players. Biddle, who was born in Arkansas in 1935, played with the Chicago American Giants in 1953 and 1954. He was known as "the man who beat the man who beat the man," after he out pitched Gerald McKinnis, one of the few pitchers to beat Satchel Paige.

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NW

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