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Northwestern Celebrates Black History Month

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January 24, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is continuing its celebration of Black History Month during February and March.

This year’s national theme is “Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Institutions.”

Northwestern’s celebration includes a discussion; African mask-making classes; a literary read-in; lectures; a cultural festival; an art exhibition; a jazz concert honoring jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald; a sketch comedy show; a fashion show; a program featuring urban poetry and the revolutionary prose of black poets of the 1960s and 1970s; and a choral concert.

All of the events are open to the public. Most of the activities are free and will be held on the Evanston campus.

 “The Art of UTRIBE – Mask Making Workshop,” 4 to 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, Norris University Center, Artica Studios. Chicago artist Mitch Melson Jr., founder of UTRIBE, will conduct two free workshops of African mask-making exploring 21st century concepts including the benefits of recycling materials and resources. Supplies will be provided and light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. To register for one of the workshops, call (847) 491-2348 or register online at www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

 The Seventeenth Annual National African American Read-In, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center. Participants will have the opportunity to read from a book by their favorite African American author for five to 10 minutes. Bring your favorite book or choose from one of the books that will be available for reading that day. The hope is the “read-in” chain will reach more than one million participants nationwide. A reception will follow.

 “Learning from the History and Lives of Black Women,” 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, Women’s Center, 2000 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Historian Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and history at Northwestern, will connect experiences from the lives of African American women throughout history with contemporary life.

Cultural Fest, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston. A celebration of the African Diaspora of Mexican culture will focus on the history, music and cuisine of the Afro-Mexican tradition.

Terry Dixon, “Jazz on Canvas” exhibition, Feb. 15 to March 19, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center. Chicago artist Terry Dixon infuses African art, abstract expressionism and a love for jazz music into a series of contemporary bold and vibrant paintings. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 featuring the artist and a campus jazz trio. The exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. For more information, call (847) 491-2348 or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

“Exquisitely for Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. Jeff Lindberg’s 42-piece Chicago Jazz Orchestra will join with vocalists Frieda Lee, Dee Alexander and Spider Saloff to perform the best of her “Songbook” recordings. They also will perform songs of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Duke Ellington and Harold Arlen. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $21 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $12 for full-time students. To order tickets by phone, call (847) 467-4000.

 “Out Da Box,” 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16; 8 and 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; and 8 and 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, Shanley Pavilion, 2031 Sheridan Road, Evanston. The African American Theater Ensemble will present a night of sketch comedy. General admission is $5.

 African Students Association’s 6th Annual Fashion Show, “A Night of Pageantry: Tracing the Elegance of a Pure Society,” 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, McCormick Auditorium, Norris University Center. The African Student Association’s annual fashion show is an exhibition of African culture through fashion accompanied by dance, music, food and performance. This year’s show pays homage to parents and the diverse culture and traditions they have passed down to their children. Admission is free.

 Dr. Alexa Canady Visits Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses, Thursday, Feb. 23, noon to 1 p.m., Hughes Auditorium, Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago campus; and 7 to 9 p.m. Donald P. Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Retired neurosurgeon Alexa Canady will be honored for her work as the first female African American neurosurgeon in the United States. Canady trained the four neurosurgeons now on staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where she was the former chief of neurosurgery.

 Keynote speaker: bell hooks, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, Ryan Family Auditorium, Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Feminist, social thinker, memoirist, intellectual and teacher bell hooks has written more than 24 books including “Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics” and “Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism.” hooks is a Distinguished Professor of English at City College of New York.

 Café Noir, “The Poets of Revolution,” 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center. The African American Theatre Ensemble will blend today’s urban poetry with the revolutionary prose of the black poets of the 1960s and 1970s. Refreshments will be served.

 Northwestern Community Ensemble (NCE) Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston campus. The 35th Anniversary Northwestern Community Ensemble Winter Concert will feature several special guests, including a nationally renowned gospel recording artist.

For updated information about these and other Black History Month events go to the African American Student Affairs Web site at http://www.northwestern.edu/aasa/index.html#bhm, check the bi-weekly Northwestern Observer events calendar or visit the University’s Plan-It Purple Web site at www.planitpurple.northwestern.edu.