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  January 27, 2003

Black History Month Events Begin
With Gospel Fest, February 1

The African American Cultural Center will mark Black History Month with a series of performances, lectures, and films exploring the experiences of African Americans.

The events begin Saturday, Feb. 1, with a gospel cabaret at 5 p.m. in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. UConn's Voices of Freedom Gospel Choir; Praises of Zion, a choir from First Cathedral in Bloomfield; and the Mashantucket Pequot Youth Tribal Dancers are scheduled to perform at the cabaret, which is also a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. The Hartford Church of Christ will also present music and dance from the Broadway musical The Lion King.

At 9 p.m. that night, in the Rome Commons Ballroom, the Cultural Center and the Student Union Board of Governors will present a performance of Def Poetry. Created by recording and fashion executive Russell Simmons, the program features spoken word artists presenting their poetry.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, historian Ashra Kwesi will discuss tracing African American civilization. Kwesi will reveal the African origins of many of the symbols and practices used in the Western world, and show documented evidence of the African origin of mathematics, medicine, religion, and the arts and sciences. His lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Thomas J. Dodd Center's Konover Auditorium.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, the Cultural Center will show Spike Lee's film Bamboozled at 7 p.m. in the Center's lounge. The screening will be followed by a discussion about the movie.

On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Cultural Center and First Cathedral will co-sponsor a concert by the hit gospel duo Mary Mary. The concert will take place at 6 p.m. at First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Ave. in Bloomfield. Tickets are $25 to $30 for the general public, and $15 for UConn students.

On Friday, Feb. 14, award-winning poet Regie Gibson will perform some of his poems at Lyrical Love, an evening of spoken word by Gibson and UConn talent, at 7 p.m. The location is yet to be determined.

Other Black History Month highlights include:

  • Black History Treats Day. On Monday, Feb. 3, representatives from the African American Cultural Center will be on campus passing out lollipops with Black History facts attached.
  • From Feb. 10-14, a blood drive will be held in the African American Cultural Center Community Room between noon and 6 p.m. each day.
  • On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the directors of all of the cultural centers will hold a fireside chat about the University of Michigan affirmative action case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The discussion will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center Lounge.
  • A screening of the "blaxploitation" film The Mac at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 in the African American Cultural Center Lounge. A discussion on stereotypes and messages presented in the film will follow.
  • The Mahogany Affair, the Black Students Association's annual semi-formal dinner and dance, which will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Rome Commons Ballroom.
  • "Remembering the Past and Determining the Future," The Mr. And Miss Black UConn Pageant, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 in the Rome Commons Ballroom. A party follows from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the African American Cultural Center Community Room.

All events are open to the public. With the exception of the Mary Mary concert and the Mahogany Affair, all events are free.

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