The Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 31, 2000
January 31, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 20


Black History Month Celebration Begins

Myrlie Evers-Williams, Sister Souljah, Sankofa Dance highlight program

By Leslie Rice

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Homewood campus celebrates Black History Month this February with a series of speakers, music, dance and more, including appearances by famed civil rights leader Myrlie Evers-Williams, rap singer and author Sister Souljah, and the Sankofa Dance Company. This year's program, organized by sophomores Shermian Daniel and Marsha Peart, members of the Hopkins Black Student Union, is titled "Retrospection and Progression: The African American in the 20th Century."

Peart says she hopes this year's program will "recharge our collective cultural spirit and celebrate the achievements of black people throughout time." She and Daniel chose the "Retrospection and Progression" theme because they wanted to examine the black man and woman through various periods during the last 100 years: the Harlem renaissance of the '20s, social activism of the '60s, urban culture of the '90s and other pivotal moments in history, she says.

Sophomores Marsha Peart and Shermian Daniel organized this year's program.

"We've just entered a new millennium, and we can't think of a better time to marvel at all of the richness and beauty that has always been part of our culture, as well as look for paths to upliftment in the years to come," Daniel says.

The following events, all on the Homewood campus, are open to the public. For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at 410-516-5435.

Friday, Feb. 4, noon, Glass Pavilion
Opening ceremonies

Student and faculty leaders will sing and read excerpts from famous speeches, poetry. Co-chairs Peart and Daniel will go over in detail the month's events. Free.

Friday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m., Arellano Theater
Theater revue

Reprise, We're Gonna Have a Good Time 5. The JHU Dunbar Baldwin Hughes Theater Company performs its annual show, always a sellout. Witness a minstrel show in reverse as students give a lesson in history, this time with a little twist. Students also will perform music from The Lion King and Smokey Joe's Cafe. $4.

Monday, Feb. 7, noon, Sherwood Room

Michael Blakey, medical sociologist and anthropologist at Howard University, will talk about the W. Montague Cobb Collection, the museum and laboratory he directs. The center studies the remains of a traditional African burial ground of slaves that was uncovered by a developer in New York City. Free, includes lunch.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m. Shriver Hall

Rapper, writer and activist Sister Souljah, a.k.a. Lisa Williamson, will talk about Generation X and the modern young black person's role in society. Sister Souljah, a graduate of Rutgers University, came to national notoriety in 1992 when she was scolded publicly by presidential candidate Bill Clinton for her alleged racist remarks in a Washington Post interview promoting her album 360 Degrees of Power. In early 1995, she released the book No Disrespect, which looks at relationships between black men and women. Since then, she has toured the nation, speaking out on issues like teenage pregnancy, fatherless households and crime and poverty in African American communities. Co-sponsored by the Homewood Student Affairs Programming Committee. Free.

Saturday, Feb.12, 8 p.m., Arellano Theater
Poetry and open mike night

"Voices Unheard," an open mike and freestyle contest. Participants are invited to showcase their talents in soft jazz and poetry. Featured guest artist Thema Bryant from Roaring Productions will share her moving poetry, essays and "life reflections." Coffee and refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Sunday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m.
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center

Interfaith worship service

Tuesday, Feb. 15, noon, Sherwood Room
Brown bag lunch

Elma Martin, director of the Great Blacks in Wax Museum of Baltimore, will give a talk. Free.

Friday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m. Shriver Hall
Step show and unity party

The historically black fraternities and sororities of Hopkins will perform a step show featuring dance and routines. $5 for JHU students, $7 general admission. A unity party follows in the Glass Pavilion in Levering Hall. $2 for step show ticket holders, $4 for non-ticket holders.

Saturday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m., Shriver Hall
Dance performance

Sankofa Dance Company. The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs presents this high-energy, inspirational dance troupe--an annual favorite--which will guide the audience through centuries of African dance and tradition. Vibrant costumes, pulsating rhythms and amazing dance moves make the performance unforgettable. $15 for the general public, $10 for groups of 10 or more, free for Hopkins students who pick up tickets by Feb. 16 at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center

Myrlie Evers-Williams. Legendary civil rights leader and chairwoman emerita of the board of directors of the NAACP, Evers-Williams was recently named by Vanity Fair magazine as one of America's most influential women. The widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and a longtime political and social activist, she is author of two books, For Us, the Living and Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be. Co-sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs and the Black Faculty and Staff Association. Free.

Saturday, Feb. 26, 8 p.m., Glass Pavilion

"Harlem Renaissance," African heritage dinner. Celebrate a period in African American history known for its truth, music, art and energetic spirit, when the Glass Pavilion is transformed into the Cotton Club of the 1920s. The evening will showcase a live jazz band, singers, dancers, writers and catered cuisine from area Caribbean, African American and American restaurants. Formal dress preferred; period clothes optional. $10.

Sunday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m.
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center
Gospel fest

Experience gospel music as choirs from Baltimore and New York City gather for an afternoon of praise and thanksgiving. Free.