Orangeburg, S.C. – Claflin University will begin its annual Black History Month observance with a presentation of traditional and contemporary South African history and culture by the Umbadu South African Dance Company at 7 p.m. Monday, February 2, 2015.
The Birmingham, Ala.-based group – under the artistic direction of veteran South African dancer, choreographer and drummer Johannes “Jomo” Xulu – will perform in Moss Auditorium of the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Admission is free.
The Umbadu South African Dance Company performance is just one of the many opportunities Claflin invites the community to participate in as the University celebrates Black History Month. Other events include:
Tuesday, February 3
Remember & Respect Candlelight Service/Moment of Silence — 6:30 p.m., Panther Plaza. This brief ceremony will serve as a time to remember and respect our ancestors as Claflin University kicks off Black History Month.
Black History Month Program featuring Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean — 7 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Brown-Dean is a nationally known and respected expert on the American criminal justice system. She serves on the Board of Directors for Prison Policy Initiative, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that documents the impact of mass incarceration on communities across the nation.
Wednesday, February 4
Movie Night: “Hidden Colors” — 8 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. “Hidden Colors” is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film will discuss some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history.
Friday, February 6
Popular Music Symposium — 2 p.m., Ministers’ Hall. Students from across South Carolina will present research findings on a variety of topics. The event will also feature a workshop on songwriting. Musicologist and popular culture expert Felicia M. Miyakawa will deliver the keynote address at 5 p.m.
Monday, February 9
Black History Month Program featuring Dr. Chandra Gill — 7 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Gill is the author of “Champions Break Chains” and founder and CEO of Blackademically Speaking®, a company dedicated to developing motivational content, products and services, innovative philosophies and cutting-edge theories specific to education and schooling. http://www.drchandragill.com/
Wednesday, February 11
LeaderShop Series Part 2: “Creating a Foundation for Your Personal, Professional and Community Brand” — 5-6:30 p.m., Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium. So, you landed a few jobs and volunteered here and there. What makes YOU so special from the other THOUSANDS of qualified candidates in your field? Learn to identify and understand your brand, and communicate who you are, what you do and why you should be remembered. This workshop features Thetyka O. Robinson, founder and chief strategist of PinkMoon Marketing + Consulting, LLC.
Thursday, February 12
An Evening with Caroline Gibson — 7 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Free admission. The soprano and founder of TwinProductions will perform works by J. Rosamond Johnson, Handel, Mozart, Mahler, Verdi and Gershwin, as well as Negro spirituals.
Monday, February 16
Ugandan Thunder Children’s Choir — 7 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Free admission. The Ugandan Thunder Children’s Choir is an outreach of the humanitarian and mission organization Pennies for Posho, which is committed to feeding the hungry children of Africa while sharing the Gospel with them and teaching the children discipline. While the concert is free and open to the public, a love offering is collected to help the orphanages in Uganda. http://www.penniesforposho.org/
Tuesday, February 17
“My Black Is … ” — 7 p.m., Ministers’ Hall. This poetry night is for females only. Females will have the opportunity to express through poetry what their black is and what their black means to them.
Wednesday, February 18
Troy Spry, Certified Life and Relationship Coach and “Reality Expert” — 7 p.m., Moss
Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. “Strive to be better than good enough!” That’s the mantra that Spry lives by, and that’s what he wants to inspire, motivate and coach you to do in your life and in your relationships. http://www.xklusivethoughts.com/
Saturday, February 21
CU Freedom Ride: Exploring the Underground Railroad, Sea Islands and Savannah, Ga. —
Depart from campus at 9 a.m. The CU Freedom Ride will feature a guided tour by Dr. Johnny B. Hill exploring the trail of the Underground Railroad through the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina. The bus will drive down the history route on Highway 17 to the Penn Center on St. Helena Island. From there, students will journey to Savannah, Ga., where they will explore historic sites in the city.
Monday, February 23
Black Art and Entertainment Showcase — 7 p.m., Ministers’ Hall. A showcase of black art and entertainment by Claflin University students.
Wednesday, February 25
Greek Quiz Bowl: Black History Month Edition — 7 p.m., Moss Auditorium, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. Campus Greek organizations will be competing against each other in a quiz bowl with questions relating to Black History Month.
Thursday, February 26
Flashback & Forward Jam/Dance — 8 p.m., Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
Saturday, February 28
Streetball Kings: The 2015 CIAA Week Tour — 3 p.m., Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
Black History Month is celebrated each February to remember the important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. The designation was officially recognized by the U.S. government in 1976, during the nation’s bicentennial. For more information about Claflin University’s Black History Month observance, visit www.claflin.edu.
Founded in 1869, Claflin University is recognized by national publications such as U.S. News and World Report, Forbes.com and Washington Monthly as one of America’s best liberal arts colleges. The University proudly serves the state of South Carolina, the nation and the world. Its beautiful historic campus is home for approximately 2,000 students from every region of the United States and more than 20 international countries. Claflin students demonstrate extraordinary achievement, distinctive confidence and a lifelong desire to transform society through visionary leadership. Its academic programs prepare students to compete and succeed in a global and technological society.
Outstanding alumni include Chief Justice of South Carolina Supreme Court (Ret) Ernest A. Finney, Jr.; renowned photographer, author and publisher Cecil Williams; internationally recognized artist Leo Twiggs; Vela McClam-Mitchell, president/CEO and owner, Georgia International Travel; and the eighth president of Claflin University, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale. For more information, visit claflin.edu or GoToClaflin.com.