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Black History Is More Than a Month at UK

By Gail Hurston

University of Kentucky Diversity Education & Community Building (DE&CB) students with the assistance of faculty and staff members have organized a full month of activities for the 2012 Black History Month Collaborative.

“As Black History Month chair for the first time,” said UK student Brittany Clayborne, “I'd like to say that I'm honored to be hosting such a position within the Black Student Union. I'm learning every day, and enjoyed it because of the hardworking students and faculty around me that have done all they could to make this a strong month. I'm excited for these programs because not only am I helping others learn more about their heritage, I'm learning about myself. I feel like everyone on campus should be eager to participate as a result of the time and effort that was put into each event. There will also be different sources of information and learning opportunities that will be available to them. We have plenty of fun things planned, and I'm excited to see a great audience.”

This collaboration of students, organizations, and academic partners worked diligently to ensure a cohesive schedule of cultural events, lectures and more during the month of February. The goal of the BHM Collaborative was to promote a community celebration that provokes thought through innovative educational opportunities that specifically pertain to history and culture of the African Diaspora. DE&CB aspires to provide a unified front for nationally recognized cultural awareness months, and an opportunity to cultivate new traditions and opportunities for appreciation of cultural and heritage awareness within our campus community.

Senior marketing major/international business minor Ronald Harrison of Louisville said, “Black History Month is important because it allows for an opportunity to highlight and acknowledge the achievements of black individuals in reference to the development of our nation. It is important to attend the events planned for this month simply to increase the knowledge and awareness that one has about the contribution of African Americans and to make sure that we take time to celebrate the black culture.”

UK’s Black History Month Collaborative has added the calendar of events on the Diversity Education website. The full pdf version of the calendar can be downloaded at Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

 “Diversity Education & Community Building is honored to have had the opportunity to work with university constituents in this collaboration,” said Rebecca Comage, assistant director of Diversity Education & Community Building. “This truly has been and will continue to be an opportunity to encourage the campus community to work together towards common goals of recognizing the rich history and contributions both past and present. It is our responsibility to empower our students to create change and reimagine America, and the potential impact that they can have on what we all know to be American History.”

  • Black History Month Quiz Bowl

Sponsored by: Black Student Union
Date: Feb. 1
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Student Center Theatre
Description: Opportunity for minority student organizations to come out and participate in a Quiz Bowl.
Contact: Brittany Clayborne, BHM chair,


  • Narrating the Caribbean: Food for the Soul or Food for Thought Series

Sponsored by: College of Arts & Sciences
Day 1: Feb. 2.
Time: 4:45-6:30 p.m.
Location: Niles Gallery
Title: "Politics of Food and Sexuality in French Caribbean Literature"
"Savoureux Piment: the Fake Pornography of Gisèle Pineau and Dany Laferrière" by Valerie Loichot (Emory University) and "Bon appétit: A Masculine Tale of Desire, Resistance, and Fear in Raphaël Confiant’s Mamzelle Dragonfly" by Jacqueline Couti (University of Kentucky).

Day 2: Feb. 3
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Location: 103 Main Building
Title: "Consuming Haiti: Its Haunting Past and Sustainable Future"
“A Marshall Plan for Haiti?: To End or Continue the Legacy of Revolution" by Myriam Chancy (University of Cincinnati) and “Haiti Then and Now: The Terror of Equality” by Nick Nesbitt (Princeton University).
Contact for Series: Contact Dr. Jacqueline Couti,


  • Freedom Riders: Could You Get on the Bus?


Sponsored by: SAB & Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Date: Feb. 9
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Student Center Small Ballroom
Contact: Priska Ndege, SAB Multicultural Affairs Major Events & Research Chair,, 502-554-3483
Description:  Guest speaker Rev. Alphonso Smith who was only 16 years old when he got on his first Freedom Ride.


  • NAACP Week

Sponsored by: NAACP
Date: Feb. 6-12


  • Rebuilding the Block: The 2nd Annual S.T. Roach Community Conversations

Sponsored by:  African American & Africana Studies Program
Date: Feb. 11
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center
Description: "So Black I'm Blue" psychologist Lynda Brown Wright, utilizing excerpts from the film "The Color of Fear," discusses the mental health consequences of oppression and black men and their coping strategies.


  • “It’s More Than a Month,” a part of Community Cinema Project

Sponsored by: African American & Africana Studies  and KET
Date: Feb. 16
Time: Screening at 6 p.m., followed by reception
Location: ArtsPlace, 161 N. Mill Street in downtown Lexington

Description: Community Cinema is an outreach project that shows Independent Lens documentaries in the community and has a panel discussion following each film. It  shows a film every third Thursday of the month at Arts Place in downtown Lexington. The film for Feb. 16 is titled “More Than a Month” and it follows Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-year-old African-American filmmaker, on a cross-country tongue-in-cheek campaign to end Black History Month. You can see the trailer here

Contact: Frank X Walker,, 859-257-1035

  • Dinner, Discussion and a Movie (Viewing of “Red Tails”)


Sponsored by: CATalyst
Date: Feb. 17
Time: TBD
Contact/ RSVP:

Description: We will be taking students to see “Red Tails,” a new movie based on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Movie tickets, dinner, discussion, and transportation will be provided.


  • Minority Graduate and Professional School Symposium

Sponsored by: UK Black Law Student Union
Date: Feb. 21
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: UK Student Center, Center Theater 

Description: An opportunity for undergraduate students and others interested in pursuing a graduate or professional degree to gain a competitive advantage when applying to those schools. Highlights of the symposium include a panel discussion with students from various fields of interests, mentorship opportunities, admissions and financial aid discussions, successful preparation strategies, etc.

Collaborators: NAACP, Black Student Union, UK College of Dentistry, UK College of Pharmacy, Gatton College of Business and Economics and others to be determined. Please contact with questions or concerns.


  • The Universal Application of Kingian Nonviolence (training for students, faculty & staff)

Sponsored by: UK  Provost’s Office and Dorneshia Thomas, Gaines Fellow
Student Orientation: Feb. 22, Room 230 Student Center, at 4:30 p.m.
Administration, Faculty, & Staff Orientation: Feb. 23, Small Ballroom, at 9 a.m.
Contact: Dorneshia Thomas,

Description: The Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training curriculum originates in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy and methodology of nonviolence and reconciliation.  One of the goals of this program is to mobilize leadership groups in the community (youth, business and commercial, educators, government, nonprofit organizations, criminal justice system, librarians, religious institutions, women and volunteer organizations) to identify the causes and symptoms of violence (defined broadly) and enhance community relations.


  • Necessary!  Exhibit presented by Khalid el-Hakim

(Following lecture by Professor Griff)
Sponsored by: Black Student Union & Diversity Education
Date: Feb. 23
Time and location:
Exhibit: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 206 Student Center
Lecture: 6 p.m., Center Theatre
Contact: Rebecca Comage, assistant director, Student Involvement,, 859-257-0179

Exhibit Description: The NECESSARY! exhibit is over 200 artifacts on the life and legacy of Malcolm X.  NECESSARY! takes a fresh and bold approach to teaching the legacy of Malcolm X in America through original letters, handbills, photographs, newspapers, magazines, figurines and other memorabilia. The artifacts are displayed chronologically starting with items from slavery that build a context around what produced a revolutionary mind such as Malcolm X in America and ends with Malcolm X's influence on the powerful conscious voices in hip-hop culture. Some of the highlights of the exhibit include one page from the Alex Haley typewritten interview with Malcolm X for Playboy magazine signed by Malcolm X; the original lynching photograph from Marion, Ind., that inspired the song "Strange Fruit"; an original letter written by Elijah Muhammad; a handbill advertising Malcolm X speaking in Washington, D.C.; Black Panther newspapers showing Malcolm X's influence; and original hip-hop artifacts from KRS One and Public Enemy.

Lecture Description: Professor Griff is an American rapper and spoken word artist. He is a member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy and head of the Security of the First World. When Public Enemy was formed and signed to Def Jam, Ridenhour invited Griffin to be a sideman. Unity Force was renamed The Security of the First World, or S1W for short. The S1W’s were brought along, and became a curious combination of bodyguards/dancers for the band. Their stage routines were a loose combination of martial arts, military drill and “step show” dances lifted from black college fraternities. His role was also the “Minister of Information,” the intellectual public face of the band for interviews etcetera, as Flavor Flav was the “fun” one. He was rarely MC’ing except between songs. Professor Griff has started to emerge on the conspiracy theory scene, typically New World Order conspiracy theory. He is known for linking these allegations to past and present celebrities and well-known figures. Professor Griff’s lecture will focus on Malcolm X's influence on Public Enemy and other conscious hip-hop artists. For more information, visit the Black History Mobile Museum website


  • Free lunch and reading by Dr. Randall Pinkett

Sponsored by: UK College of Engineering
Date: Feb 24
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Contact: Emily Dotson, College of Engineering,, 859-323-2645
Location: Raymond Student Commons area of RGAN Building
Description: Hear noted engineer, entrepreneur, and NBC’s "Apprentice" winner Randall Pinkett talk about his book, “Black Faces in White Spaces” and the role of effective communication skills throughout his impressive career.

For more information, including a biography of Pinkett at  


  • Comedy and Family Night featuring J. Shelby, Starks and Jody, and music by DJ Always

Sponsored by: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated/ Life's Journey Clothing/ College for Technical Education
Admission: $8 - $10
Date: Feb. 25
Location: UK Memorial Hall
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.

Description: This night of entertainment will feature some of Kentucky's finest talent. Acts will range from musical selections, spoken word, mime performances, and other performing arts. Proceeds will go to benefit the Black Men Working Program at First Baptist Bracktown Church and other local charities.
Contact: Joshua Southerling,, 270-307-1262

  • An Evening with Kevin Powell

Sponsored by: Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center & Diversity Education and Community Building
Date: Feb. 27   
Location: Memorial Hall
Time: Doors will open at 7 p.m., lecture at 7:30 p.m.

Description: Kevin Powell is an activist, writer, public speaker, and entrepreneur and, in 2010 and 2008, was a Democratic candidate for Congress in Brooklyn, N.Y. A product of extreme poverty, welfare, fatherlessness, and a single mother-led household, he is a native of Jersey City, N.J., and was educated at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. Powell is a longtime resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., and it is from his base in New York City that Powell has published 10 books, including his most recent collection of essays, "Open Letters to America" (Soft Skull Press). Next up for Powell is “Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays” (Fall 2011); and his long-awaited memoir of his childhood and youth, “The Education of Kevin Powell” (Fall 2012).

  • Lecture: Dr. Monica Visoná, "Displaying Africa in Paris: The Trocadero to the Quai Branly”

Sponsored by:  UK Department of Art
Date: Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Niles Gallery, Lucille Little Fine Arts Library

  • Progressive Dinner: “Lest not forget…the Harlem Renaissance”

Sponsored by: Black Student Union
Date: Feb. 29
Location: Student Center (RSVP’s will be required)