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Black History Month at UW-Eau Claire
to Offer Wide Array of Presentations

RELEASED: Jan. 24, 2007

Jabali Afrika
Jabali Afrika

EAU CLAIRE The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will offer a varied lineup of presentations and activities in honor of Black History Month in February. The celebration will kick off a few days with the return of Jabali Afrika for a free University Activities Commission concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 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, Jan. 31, UW-Eau Claire professor of education Mark Clark will discuss all-time major league home-run champ Hank Aaron and other African-American baseball greats at a luncheon presentation hosted by the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association from noon to 1 p.m. at Sweetwaters restaurant. "Black Baseball and Beyond: Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson and Other Greats" is part of the Alumni Association's "Let's Do Lunch" series.

The speaker series is open to the public. The price is $10 per session and includes the presentation, buffet, beverage, tax and tip. For reservations and details go to the Alumni Association Web site or call 715-836-3266.

Also on Wednesday, Jan. 31, Duluth, Minn., native Michael Fedo, a former correspondent for The New York Times, will tell the story of ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary moment of violence at his Forum presentation, "A Life Informed by a Lynching" — drawn from his book, "The Lynchings in Duluth." The book tells the story of the violence and subsequent responses by authorities that occurred in the aftermath of a rape allegation made in Duluth in June 1920. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, and also will be sold at the door.

Also on Jan. 31, Michael Fedo will speak in the noon and 1 p.m. African American history classes, 1870 to the present, taught by Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton in Room 101 of Hibbard Humanities. Ducksworth-Lawton will open approximately 20 seats in each class to the public but asks that anyone interested in attending RSVP to duckswsm@uwec.edu.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a reception in celebration of Black History Month from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center.

The reception will feature information on the history of black music in America from 1800 to the present; the African-American Mosaic presented by the Library of Congress; and samples of African-American foods, including fried catfish, sweet potato pie and fries, collard greens, red beans and rice, and more. Information on additional Black History Month activities will be available and all are invited to this free celebration.

Feb. 1-4, the University Activities Commission will present "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," the 1967 film about a planned interracial marriage that shakes up the families on both sides of the engaged pair. Although the film is now dated, it was controversial and ground-breaking in its day. It won an Academy Award for best original screenplay, and Katherine Hepburn won for best actress. The 108-minute film is rated G and screens at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre. Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW System faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center and will be sold at the door.

On Monday, Feb. 5, Mohammed Bilal will present "12 Steps Toward Appreciating Diversity" at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center. Bilal, a former MTV Real World star and diversity consultant, has helped thousands of people move beyond the sheer tolerance of difference. His presentation is a fun, interactive presentation sprinkled with scholarship, hip-hop and self-reflective narratives that equip the participant with easy, valuable and powerful tools for appreciating the wondrous diversity around us. This free presentation is sponsored by the University Activities Commission.

Evidence Dance Company
Evidence Dance Company

On Monday, Feb. 12, the Artists Series will present the Evidence Dance Company performing "Dance Stories by Ronald K. Brown" at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena. Evidence's Afro-Caribbean contemporary dance amalgam, marked by sweeping gestures, intricate patterns and spiritual earthiness, speaks to the black experience both past and present. As a choreographer, Brown blends African, modern, ballet and hip-hop dance styles to tell stories about the human experience with all its struggles, tragedies and triumphs.

Tickets are available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, and will be sold at the door. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $13 for those age 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff; and $5 for UW-Eau Claire or CVTC students and youth age 17 and younger.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, associate professor of history, will give a presentation, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, on the influence of veterans on the civil rights movement. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Presidents Room of Davies Center.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, Carlos Wiley, director of the Multicultural Educational Resource Center and dean of students at UW-Platteville, will present "Hip-Hop Generation" at 7 p.m. in Phillips Recital Hall in the Haas Fine Arts Center. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will cover the roots of hip-hop, societal influences on the earliest generation of hip-hop artists, and how and why hip-hop has changed over the past 20 years. Wiley, who has a master's degree in education, began researching the hip-hop culture in preparation for a course he teaches on the history of the black experience in America. According to Wiley, hip-hop is more than music; it is a subculture of the black culture that began with people born between 1968 and 1988. This generation of black Americans, some of whom had parents who were leaders in the civil rights movement, came of age when drugs and gang violence within the black community were beginning to take hold. Wiley will discuss the government's role and how the "War on Drugs" affects the black community in a negative way.

Star Parker
Star Parker

The Forum series at UW-Eau Claire will close out Black History Month and introduce Women's History Month with "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty," a presentation by Star Parker, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Schofield Auditorium. This well-known, conservative African American journalist is founder and president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education and a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. Her 2003 book, "Uncle Sam's Plantation," offers steps that encourage the nation's poor to go from entitlement and slavery to empowerment and freedom. A former welfare mom, Parker shares her journey up from the lower rungs of the economic system and addresses the importance of extending the free market system to this neglected group of people. The presentation will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, and also will be sold at the door.

For more information on Black History Month, contact Christine Webster in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 715-836-3367.

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