North Dakota State University is celebrating African and African-American culture this month. Movies, music and a student’s personal journey are among events scheduled to celebrate Black History Month throughout February.
“Black History Month is a great opportunity for us here at NDSU to celebrate and learn more about African-American heritage,” said Evie Myers, vice president for equity, diversity and global outreach. “I am very pleased we have such a wealth of resources on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community to bring together for this program.”
The following events are free and open to the public:
Tuesday, Feb. 5
Local attorney and NDSU alumnus Johnathon Judd will discuss his personal journey into the realm of higher education and law school, his work with African-American males and his exploration of factors that might contribute to the disproportionate representation of the persons of color in the American adult and juvenile justice system. His presentation is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union Hidatsa room.
Saturday, Feb. 9
“Dancing Through the Decades” provides a fun journey back in time to listen and dance to music from the 1950s to today. With performances by students in the Black Student Association, HipHop Team, MSUM African Student Union and Ballroom Dance Club, and featuring DJ Nola, the event will be from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom.
Monday, Feb. 11
The movie “Glory” will be shown from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Sudro Hall room 24. The American war film stars Denzel Washington and is based on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the U.S. Army comprised entirely of African-American men.
David Silkenat, assistant professor of history, philosophy, and religious studies; and Linda Helstern, associate professor of English, will facilitate a discussion following the film.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
The movie “The Price of the Ticket” will be shown from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Prairie room. James Baldwin was a 20th century American author and Civil Rights activist who called for Americans, black and white, to confront their shared racial tragedy. The film captures the passionate intellect and courageous writing of a man who was born black, impoverished, gay and gifted. Following the film, Cali Anicha, doctoral candidate of institutional analysis, will lead a discussion.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Nyamal Dei, a senior majoring in health education, was born in the South Sudan. The daughter of a revered soldier, she, like many children, witnessed firsthand the brutality of war and has dedicated her life to empowering South Sudanese girls in the United States. Dei will share her story and the plight of South Sudanese women both here and in the South Sudan, and how a branch of the Miss Malika Foundation serves as a vehicle for education and advancement of women.
Dei’s presentation, “A Personal Journey from Powerlessness to Advocate of South Sudanese Girls” is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union Arikara room.
Friday, Feb. 22
The English Club and Sigma Tau Delta have scheduled an open poetry reading of works by African-American poets. As part of the open reading, students are encouraged to bring and read aloud a poem by an African-American poet. “Open Mic Poetry Reading: African-American Poets” is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. in the Main Library Weber Reading room.
African drumming ensemble The Atmosphere is scheduled to perform from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Thundar’s Den. The ensemble was formed in 2012 and includes individuals from countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Senegal and Republic of Burundi. The blend of these cultures results in a fusion of African and contemporary styles of music. The ensemble includes NDSU students Samuel Ogunyemi, Evete Nimpagariste, Oluchi Okakpu, Irene Forfor and Oyiza Obami.
Thursday, Feb. 28
“Black Jew Dialogues” is an extraordinary two-actor play combines fast-paced sketches, improvisations, multi-media, puppets and a game show to examine the history and absurdity or prejudice and racism and the power of diversity. The play, sponsored by Campus Attractions, is scheduled for 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Plains room.
Saturday, March 2
Pan Africa Night is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom. The event is a celebration of the cultures, talents and heritages of people of African and African-American descent followed by an after-party featuring DJ Nola.
To learn more about Black History Month at NDSU, visit www.ndsu.edu/multicultural.