IU Bloomington observes Black History Month with poetry, music, lectures and art

  • Jan. 28, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington campus will honor Black History Month in February with a number of events, including guest speakers, musical performances, a poetry slam and a banquet honoring black faculty and staff.

The theme for IU’s celebration is “Black History: It’s Not Just Our History, It’s American History.” The monthlong celebration begins with the annual African-American Read In from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. This marks the 14th year for the event, which brings together area high school students to read work by African-American authors, as well as their own.  

Poet Gregory Pardlo will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center’s Grand Hall. Pardlo’s book “Digest” won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2015, was shortlisted for the 2015 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

IU will also honor its African-American faculty and staff during a Black Faculty and Staff Appreciation Banquet on Feb. 24. The banquet will honor black faculty and staff nominated by students who believe they have been integral to their success at IU.

Other Black History Month events include:

  • On Feb. 1, IU’s Archives of African American Music and Culture will release, for the first time in its entirety, a video interview with Jack "The Rapper” Gibson, who was considered the father of black radio.
  • An Ode to Social Justice Poetry Slam competition, 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Grand Hall. IU students will express themselves about social justice issues through spoken word. Two winners will be selected. 
  • The Archives of African American Music and Culture is hosting an exhibit highlighting the work of radio producer Jacquie Gales Webb and the history of black radio. The exhibit opens Feb. 9 in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • On Feb. 13, the Archives of African American Music and Culture will provide online access for the first time to the 1968 radio series “What Must Be Done: Where Are We Today in Black-White Relations?” Civil rights attorney Percy E. Sutton moderates the series. The event is also in honor of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Radio Day. 
  • Motown Game Night, 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Neal-Marshall Center’s Bridgwaters Lounge.
  • Black Knowledge Bowl, 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Neal-Marshall Center Grand Hall. The annual bowl is an academically competitive program that tests students' knowledge on history, geography, science, philosophy and politics of African Americans.
  • IU’s African American Choral Ensemble will perform from noon to 12:25 p.m. Feb. 17 at the IU School of Education Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.
  • IU Soul Revue will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at Collins Living-Learning Center’s coffee house. The event is free and open to the public.
  • “Where’s the Love? African American Relationship Representations in the Media,” 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Neal-Marshall Center Bridgwaters Lounge. Discussion will revolve around how entertainment shapes society's views on “black love.”
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center will serve as the site for numerous Black History Month events.

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April Toler

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