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Celebrating Black History Month

| Judy Berthiaume

UW-Eau Claire again will host a series of events in February in recognition of Black History Month, a time devoted each year to the study and celebration of African American history and accomplishments.

"Black History Month is used to remember the important contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation's history," says Dennis Beale, a student services coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the adviser for the Black Student Association. "It is an integral part of our nation's tradition in which we continue to promote positive examples of poignant historical events, exemplary leaders and steps towards societal change."

This remembrance is meaningful for the African American community, but also is imperative for the greater understanding of national and world history, Beale says.

"By reliving and remembering history we create awareness of the struggles and challenges that African Americans overcame in this country," Beale says. "This proven perseverance will serve as inspiration for the diversity at UWEC and the rest of America. It is important that we reflect and celebrate the monumental contributions and use them as a platform for future growth."

Weekly movies and other events are scheduled throughout the month.

Movie screenings include:

"13th"

Feb. 9, 7-10 p.m., Woodland Theater, Davies Center

The title of Ava DuVernay’s documentary, "13th," refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The documentary follows the progression from that clause to the American prison industry. The film includes archival footage and testimony from activists, politicians, historians and formerly incarcerated women and men.

"Lean on Me"

Feb. 15, noon-3 p.m., Woodland Theater, Davies Center

Morgan Freeman plays real-life high school principal Joe Clark, known as a tough educator and administrator who in 1987 is given a nearly impossible task when he’s asked to reform inner city Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a school filled with delinquent kids and drug dealers. The state is threatening to take control of Eastside away from the local school board. If Clark can straighten out Eastside in time to get the school's basic-skills test scores up, he can have the job permanently. Although Clark's tyrannical approach alienates many, he gets results.

"Rosewood"

Feb. 23, 7-10 p.m., Woodland Theater, Davies Center

John Singleton's "Rosewood" tells the story of the race riot by whites against blacks in 1922 in the small Florida town of Rosewood. The town was left in ruin and dozens of its residents were shot, burned to death or lynched. The movie goes beyond these events, showing how racism is taught by father to son.

“Celebrating Us”

In addition to the movies, UW-Eau Claire’s Black History Month activities also will include an event that honors military veterans.

“Celebrating Us” will run from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Dakota Room of Davies Center.

This celebration will include a variety of performances, with activities ranging from poetry readings to musical artists.

The event will include special presentations from military veterans.

Black History Month events are sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs/Blugold Beginnings, with a majority of the planning done by the Black Student Association.

For more information, contact Dennis Beale at bealedk@uwec.edu.