The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 1, 1999
Feb. 1, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 20


Black History Month Begins

Program will examine African heritage as a foundation for today

By Leslie Rice

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Homewood campus celebrates black history this month with some powerful speakers, great jazz, movies, parties and a lot more. Hopkins' 1999 Black History Month, "African Heritage: A Foundation for Our Modern Day Presence," kicks into gear this Friday with jazz trumpeter Dontae Winslow and continues throughout February with a series of events including talks by luminaries like education researcher Asa Hilliard III, United Negro College Fund president William Gray and psychologist Na'im Akbar.

"I think my overriding goal putting this together was to just get a dialogue going on campus," said Zaire DuRant-Young, a sophomore and chair of this year's Black History Month. "I hope some of these events will get people to talk about issues that they might normally tiptoe around."

DuRant-Young and series organizers chose a theme they hoped would both honor the past and look toward the future. After all, said DuRant-Young, his class will be one of the first to graduate and enter the work force in the next millennium.

Zaire DuRant-Young, a sophomore and chair of 1999's Black History Month, says he and the other organizers chose a theme they hoped would both honor the past and look toward the future. The series is called "African Heritage: A Foundation for Our Modern Day Presence."

"When you think of the tremendous changes in the lives of black people during the last 20 or 30 years, you have to kind of wonder what kind of changes our generation is going to make," he added.

The series also will host what have become some popular Black History Month traditions at Homewood, like a performance by the Sankofa Dance Company (its fifth annual appearance), African Heritage Dinner and Apollo Night, a talent show open to the campus and community (special note to Apollo Night performers: If you're talented, the audience will love you; if you're not, they'll let you know).

DuRant-Young, a psychology and economics double major who grew up in Baltimore, says there's already a buzz on campus and in the community about the appearance of some of the speakers.

Former congressman William Gray III has brought the United Negro College Fund, America's oldest black higher education assistance organization, from the red into the black again since he became its chief executive officer in 1991. Besides hitting fund-raising records, cutting UNCF costs and expanding its services, under Gray's leadership UNCF has developed a research institute to study education issues affecting African Americans from kindergarten to graduate school. Gray will speak during the annual Martin Luther King Convocation, on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Asa Hilliard III is an educational psychologist, historian and professor of urban education at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He researches, writes and lectures on issues concerning educational equity in assessment, curriculum and teaching quality. Hilliard speaks Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Na'im Akbar is considered one of the first academics to take an African-centered approach to modern psychology. He has written six books dealing with the psychology of race including Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery: From Miseducation to Education and Community of Self. He is a clinical psychology professor at Florida State University. He will give a talk on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

"African Heritage: A Foundation for Our Modern Day Presence"

Friday, Feb. 5, 8 p.m., Shriver Auditorium
"A Night of Jazz" with Dontae Winslow and friends, presented by the National Society of Black Engineers and sponsored by the JHU NSBE HOMES chapter. After-party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Glass Pavilion. Tickets for JHU students: $5 in advance, $10 at the door; other students: $8 in advance, $15 at the door. Bring I.D. For more information call 410-516-0583.

Sunday, Feb. 7, 8:30 p.m., BSU Room
Movie Night: Amistad. Refreshments served.

Monday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m., Garrett Room, MSEL
"Regional Integration in the Americas." Cesar Gaviria, secretary general of the Organization of American States and former president of Colombia, discusses the historical trends and development of the international system within the American continent. Sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Symposium on Foreign Affairs.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m., Shriver Auditorium
Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, with keynote speaker William H. Gray III, president of the College Fund/United Negro College Fund, and the Morgan State Choir, under the direction of Nathan Carter. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Friday, Feb.12, 8 p.m., Glass Pavilion
Poetry Night: Nubian Blend. An evening of art and poetry followed by an open mike session. (Sign-up for open mike starts at 7:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Garrett Room, MSEL
"Ancient Africa," a discussion concentrated primarily on ancient Egypt and its impact on modern black society, led by Asa Hilliard, professor, Georgia State University.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, noon, Shriver Hall
"Commemorating Black History Month: A Musical Tribute." Darin Atwater, composer/pianist/conductor, and Kishna Davis, a 1996 Baltimore Opera Competition winner, in a dynamic musical performance. Cosponsored by the Office of Special Events and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. Free.

Friday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m., Arellano Theater
"Apollo Night," a Hopkins tradition, with university and Baltimore area performers. Participants can win as much as $100 for first-place prize. $2.

Sun, Feb. 21, 8:30 p.m., BSU Room
Movie Night: Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Refreshments served.

Monday, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m., Great Hall
Sankofa Open Clinic. Dance with the Sankofa Dance Company while they rehearse for their performance on the 27th.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., Shriver Auditorium
"African Heritage: A Foundation for Our Modern Day Presence." Keynote speaker is renowned psychologist/author Na'im Akbar.

Friday, Feb. 26, noon, Shriver Auditorium
The critically acclaimed Sankofa Dancers preview excerpts from their fifth annual JHU Black History Month show, complete with traditional African attire. Free for Hopkins students, faculty and staff with ID; $5, general public.

Friday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Glass Pavilion
Closing ceremony and annual African heritage dinner, with American, Caribbean, West and East African foods. Music provided by the Sixth Dimension Sax Quartet. $10.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., Shriver Auditorium
Sankofa Dancers. Learn while being entertained by the performers who have become a part of Hopkins tradition. Free for Hopkins students. Pick up tickets by Wednesday, Feb. 24, in OMSA (must have JCARD; limit is one ticket per student); $10, general public.