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Eastern Celebrates National African American History Month

Written by Este Yarmosh



African American History MonthWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will celebrate African American History Month in February with numerous events, including the viewing of a TV series, story-telling, art exhibits, theatrical presentations, poetry slams, lectures and much more.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Eastern will begin its February celebration early on Jan. 27 with the broadcast of "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:  A Look Back," a 12-part television series produced by Eastern Public Relations Officer Dwight Bachman in 1983.  Eastern President Elsa Nuñez will introduce the series. A discussion on the series will follow the viewing, and food will be served in the Intercultural Center. ECSU TV-22, Eastern's television station, will air the 12-part series on Jan. 19, the federal holiday honoring King, beginning at 12. a. m.  One segment will air every even hour throughout the day. 

On Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Café, the Intercultural Center will present an African American storytelling and food tasting event, at which West Indian and African American students, faculty and staff will tell stories from their own personal lives.  Raouf Mama, professor of English at Eastern, will be one of the featured storytellers. 

On Feb. 4 and 5, the highly-acclaimed Costen Cultural Art Exhibit will be on display in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center.  The Costen Cultural Art Exhibit is a traveling multicultural collection of rare photographs, memorabilia and collectibles that shows the accomplishments of Americans throughout history.  

Feb. 12-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X!.JPGOn Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre, "Our Voices," a series of monologues from great African American leaders throughout history, will be performed by Eastern students and faculty.  Light refreshments will be available in the Intercultural Center following the event. 

On Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center, a theatrical performance, "They Call Me Lizzie," will be presented as part of Eastern's University Hour series.  Stephanie Jackson, an actress who has performed with the East Haddam Stage Company and is an alumna of the University of Connecticut, will play Elizabeth Keckly, born enslaved to George and Agnes Hobbs.  Keckly persevered and became Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker.

On Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre, Eastern will present "An Afternoon with Star Parker," featuring the author and columnist.  Parker will discuss her inspirational journey as an African American woman and sign copies of her book, "White Ghetto:  How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay."

Also on Feb. 25, at 6 p.m., the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards ceremony will take place in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library.  These awards recognize members of the campus and community-at-large whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Light food and refreshments will be served. 


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