W&M celebrates Black History Month

Organizations and departments across the William & Mary campus are hosting events in February in recognition of Black History Month.

Created in 1926, the month is particularly of note this year because 2013 also marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation as well as the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

My Haley will speak at W&M on Feb. 14.The second annual Lemon Project Celebration of Dance, sponsored in conjunction with the Center for Student Diversity, is set for 3 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square. The hour-long event is the kickoff for the third annual Lemon Project Symposium in March and will feature current W&M students, alumni, faculty and guest artist Jamal Story.

My Haley, the widow of author Alex Haley who collaborated on his novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” will present a public lecture and book signing titled “My Collaboration with Alex Haley and My New Novel ‘The Treason of Mary Louvestre’” on Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. in the Tidewater B room of the Sadler Center. The talk is part of the Africana Studies Mellon Lecture Series, which asks attendees to RSVP to jmholly@wm.edu due to limited seating.

The annual Tidewater Gospel Festival will take place on Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Sadler Center’s Chesapeake Rooms. Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir will be the featured performance and will be joined by other area choirs.

The Africana Studies Lecture Series will present “The Role of the Clergy During the Civil Rights Movement,” a talk given by the Rev. Robert Hunter, retired rector of the Episcopal Church of Atonement in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in Tyler 102. Hunter’s talk will focus specifically on his own efforts, along with other priests, to integrate Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, a struggle that culminated in a visit by King.

A presentation on “The Miseducation of the Black Greek Xperience,” sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Black Caucus and the Center for Student Diversity, will also be held on Feb. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the School of Education’s Dogwood Room. Rasheed Ali Cromwell, executive director of The Harbor Institute, will lead an engaging presentation designed to answer the question, “What is a Black Greek Lettered Organization?” by addressing the evolution of these organizations.

iPAX, in conjunction with the Center for Student Diversity and the W&M Black Caucus, will present "AIN'T I A WOMAN: A Celebration of the Life of Sojourner Truth," a one-woman show performed by living history interpreter Chermaine Crowell-White designed to educate and honor the life of African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth. The show will take place on Feb. 22 in Andrews Hall 101 at 6:30 p.m. with $1 admission. Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir will also offer a musical selection.