Black History at Lunchtime Series runs through February
The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center will host a series of free, public lunchtime discussions led by academic leaders in celebration of Black History Month.
The Black History at Lunchtime Series: “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas” will begin Wednesday, Feb. 11, at noon in the Black Cultural Center’s auditorium.
Dwonna N. Goldstone, associate professor of English at Austin Peay University, will lead a discussion titled “You Name It, We Can’t Do It.” She will also discuss her book Integrating the 40 Acres: The Fifty-Year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas. The title of the discussion is a quote one African American student at the University of Texas used to sum up his experiences in a 1960 newspaper article some 10 years after the beginning of court-mandated desegregation at the school. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Leadership Development and Intercultural Affairs.
On Wednesday, Feb. 25, at noon Talitha M. Washington, assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Evansville, will discuss the life and legacy of Elbert Cox as part of the series. Cox was the first African American to both receive a Ph.D. in mathematics and be inducted into the American Mathematical Society. Cornell University awarded him the doctoral degree in 1925. At that time only 28 doctoral degrees were awarded in mathematics in the nation, and up until that year, fewer than 50 African Americans had received doctorates of any kind.
Other public events scheduled at the university during Black History month include:
Monday, Feb. 2, 4:10 p.m. – Vincent Brown, the Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History at Harvard University, will discuss his book The Reaper’s Garden: Social Death and Political Life in Slavery. This event will be held in the auditorium of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. The event is co-sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, African American and Diaspora Studies and American Studies.
Thursday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. – The African Student Union presents “Harambee!: A Celebration of African Cultures” in the Student Life Center Ballroom. The event features African food, a fashion show, traditional African dancers and drummers and spoken word. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Sarratt Student Center box office on campus or at the door. Proceeds from the event benefit the Kasiisi Project’s scholarship fund for Ugandan children.
Saturday, Feb. 7, and Sunday, Feb. 8 – Vanderbilt student performance company Rhythm & Roots will present their annual production “Through the Walls,” a show that revisits and retells history from the perspectives of the buildings that witnessed it. The event will be held in Langford Auditorium. The Saturday performance begins at 7 p.m. The Sunday performance is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the Sarratt Student Center box office on campus or at the door. For more information, visit www.vanderbilt.edu/rhythm_roots.
Saturday, Feb. 14, 7 to 9 p.m. – Students will host the Vanderbilt Spoken Word 2009 Showcase titled “The Love Show” and featuring original spoken word, hip-hop and more. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Sarratt Student Center box office on campus or at the door.
Monday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m. – Vanderbilt will host The African American Playwrights Exchange as they present two new plays about Hannah Elias and Madam C.J. Walker – both are significant African American women from the beginning of the 20th century. Elias was an African American courtesan following the Civil War. Her clientele were wealthy white men. She used the property and wealth she accumulated as a courtesan to help the less fortunate. She lived in New York and her reported wealth included a Central Park mansion, two apartment buildings, a beach house, a boarding house and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamonds, furs and furniture. She was also reported to have had accounts in 129 banks. Walker, born into a former slave family, was an entrepreneur who built an empire developing hair care products for black women. This event is free and will be held in the auditorium of the Black Cultural Center.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m. – Hortense Spillers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, will lead a discussion of author Richard Wright’s book Black Power nas part of The Richard Wright Centennial Reading Series. This event is free and will be held in the Black Cultural Center’s seminar room. Reading the book is not required for attending the session.
Contact: Princine Lewis, 615-322-NEWS