SSU sets Black History events

Published 11:11 am Thursday, January 1, 2009

PORTSMOUTH — For three months, January through March at Shawnee State University, Matt Matthews’ Black History Month program begins with “Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The movie “King” will be shown at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15 in the Flohr Lecture Hall at Clark Memorial Library followed by featured guest speaker Dr. Samuel H. Hancock, special assistant to the president for Diversity, University of Toledo.

He is one of the leaders of the newly formed state organization, Ohio Chapter of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

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Hancock is also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and an international consultant specializing in Developing Cultural Competence, and he has held diversity training sessions for the past 20 years, training more than 1,500 people.

His topic is “Unfinished Business” discussing the primary initiative Dr. King was working on before his assassination.

“The primary objective of the presentation will be to challenge all of us, particularly our young people, to work toward finishing the work he started and to understand that despite our greatest intentions, resistance will come from within, which is where we least expect it,” Hancock said.

“Another goal will be to try to show that Dr. King in his own words was primarily a Baptist preacher who had fears, frustrations and concerns just like the rest of us, but had the extraordinary ability to overcome his fears and was literally driven to do what was right – regardless of the cost.”

A video “The Nuns March on Selma” will be shown at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 in the Flohr Lecture Hall.

The video is about Dr. King petitioning the clergy of different faiths to come to Alabama and protest in a non-violent way to lend their support for the civil rights movement. The nuns of the Catholic Church were one of the first religious groups to support the civil rights movement.

In February, the Black History Month theme is “The History of Black Music from the Gospel to Jazz and the Blues.”

The music begins at noon on Friday, Feb. 6 in the University Center Main Floor when flutist Galen, a jazz musician from New York City performs and discusses the history of jazz in the black community. The Student Programming Board and Multicultural Student Affairs are sponsoring Galen.

The blues artist, Johnny Rawls from Purvis, Miss. will perform “Blues from the Delta to the World” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20 in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

Rawls grew up with music and is considered a “soul” vocalist but when he started in music, he was an aspiring bluesman.

Ending the month, the AHANA Student Club is having a Gospel Festival at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Flohr Lecture Hall.

In March, as an extension of the Black History Month program at Shawnee State University, the world-renowned African Children’s Choir will perform on Monday, March 16 for the general public. On Tuesday, March 17, they will perform a special noon performance for school children.

All of the programs are free and open to the public.