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Black History Month events kick off with movies, art, galas

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 17:02

ASU’s Black History Month events kicked off Friday with the showing of “Sparkle” in the Student Union auditorium. A diverser attended the film co-starring Jordin Sparks and singer Whitney Houston in the final film of her career.

Events still to come include an art display sponsored by the Multicultural Center. The display features artwork by nationally recognized artist Kevin Cole, and explores his theme of “And the Band Played On.” The exhibit will be available on the third floor of the Student Union beginning today, and will be open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., excluding weekends, until March 1.

At noon on Feb. 13, the Multicultural Center will host Garbo Hearne, director of the Hearne Fine Arts Gallery, and his presentation, “Who is Kevin Cole?” Hearne will educate his audience on the importance and relevance of Cole’s work to the modern world of art.

The ASU Museum is also getting involved in Black History Month festivities. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the museum will host speaker Cherisse Jones-Branch of the history department for her lecture, “Art as Resistance: The History and Significance of African American Quilts.”

“I remember women in my family quilting. I remember them doing these things as a child, but I didn’t understand the significance of these things,” Jones-Branch, an associate professor of history, said. “They have meaning; and I wanted to understand the meaning, the history behind them, and I wanted to teach the history too.”

The lecture will be held in the auditorium, which is on the third floor of the Student Union. The activities will then continue in the main gallery as visitors design their own quilt block and explore interactive exhibits on the Underground Railroad.

The Strong-Turner Alumni Chapter will host a Soul Food dinner Thursday at 5:30 in the ASU Military Science building. This dinner commemorates the familiar tradition of both families and friends gathering around the table to enjoy good food and good fellowship.

Music has been central to African American culture, and that heritage will be recognized with the performance of the jazz, rock and blues artist Allan Harris on Feb. 15 in the Fowler Center. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available from the Fowler Center at (870) 972-2781.

The Multicultural Center’s events continue into as T.J. Holms, an Arkansas native and former CNN news anchor, discusses his journey to success in “A Tribute to Black History Month,” at 6 p.m. in Centennial Hall on Feb. 18. The presentation will be on Monday, Feb. 18 at 6 pm in Centennial Hall.

The Multicultural Center will also be home to Black History Jeopardy, a quiz-style game show, sponsored by the Black Student Association. The event will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 22 as one of the events of BSA Week.

The BSA will also sponsor the All-Black Affair, a semi-formal gala open to students and faculty, as well as the community, on Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall. Participants will be treated to fine dining and music, all while dressed in black attire in honor of the occasion.

Greek Life will also get involved with Black History Month as members of historically black fraternities and sororities compete for the title of “Best Steppers” at ASU. The step show will be held off-campus at the Nettleton Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. Admission is 5 dollars with a canned food item, and 7 dollars without.

The festivities of Black History Month will draw to a close with the Annual Gospel Exposition featuring local church choirs performing live in Centennial Hall. This final event will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 26, and will celebrate the role of gospel music in black culture.

“I encourage everyone to come, all events are free and open to the public,” Niya Blair, director of the Multicultural Center, said. “Black History Month is not just for African Americans, but for everyone to learn about black culture and to celebrate that culture.”


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