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Last modified: Monday, January 29, 2007

Lecture by member of 'Little Rock Nine,' music and art highlight IUB's Black History Month

Jan. 29, 2007

King painting image

Martin Luther King Jr., 2002.Etching and aquatint on chine colle´.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington's celebration of Black History Month will open Thursday (Feb. 1) with the dedication of a new painting of Martin Luther King Jr. at the IU Art Museum and the Fifth Annual Sound the Drum and Family Fest. Also, Terrence Roberts, one of the "Little Rock Nine," will visit campus on Feb. 13.

Other highlights will include: Grand Nites in Grand Hall: The Essence of a Harlem Night on Feb. 8; a celebration of African American spirituals on Feb. 18, the annual Extensions of the Tradition concert on Feb. 25; and a closing reception on Feb. 28. All IU events are free and open to the public.

John Wilson's new painting of King was purchased in honor of Sharon Brehm, professor of psychology and former chancellor at IU Bloomington, who established the One for Diversity Fund, which promotes multi-cultural art on campus. The event, Celebrating the Arts: Living the Dream and Continuing the Legacy, will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Thomas T. Solley Atrium, on the museum's first floor. A reception will follow immediately in the museum's second floor atrium.

Sound the Drum, which annually marks the beginning of Black History Month, will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. The drum, a symbol of unity in the African community, is used to make personal and collective commitments to support the campus and community.

Other Black History Month events:

  • WFIU, IU's public radio station, will feature several educational documentaries on Sunday evenings throughout the month of February. Celebrated musical figures will be profiled, and important historical periods and events will be discussed. The schedule includes "Every Voice and Sing!," a five-part radio series hosted by Michele Norris, host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered. More information is available on its Web site at
  • Grand Nites in Grand Hall will feature live music by the director of the IU Soul Revue, Nathanael Fareed Mahluli, and the director of the African American Choral Ensemble, Keith McCutchen. This year's theme is "Essence of a Harlem Night." It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. In addition to the musical performances, the event will feature artwork that exemplifies the Harlem Renaissance. After-five attire is requested.
  • Terrence Roberts will reflect on his experience as part of the "Little Rock Nine" in a lecture. Roberts was one of the nine students who integrated Central High School almost 50 years ago in Little Rock, Ark. His lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Roberts was a 15-year-old 11th grader when he joined the eight other students to desegregate Central High School. The children endured the opposition of the Arkansas governor and citizen mobs before President Dwight Eisenhower sent in 1,000 members of the U.S. Army to escort them to school.
  • Patricia Stiles, associate professor in the Jacobs School, will direct A Celebration of Spirituals, a concert of African American music that particularly focuses on spirituals, at 4 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Auer Hall of the Jacobs School of Music.
William Banfield image

William Banfield

  • The Extensions of the Tradition concert will feature works by African American composers. This concert begins at 8 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Auer Hall of the Jacobs School of Music and includes works by William C. Banfield, this year's artist-in-residence and professor of Africana Studies/Music and Society at Berklee University in Boston; David N. Baker, IU distinguished professor of music and chair of the Department of Jazz Studies; Tyron Cooper, former director of the IU Soul Revue director and a second-year ethnomusicology doctoral student; and Marian Harrison, producer of this year's concert and fourth-year music composition doctoral student.
  • Banfield, who was director of the IU Soul Revue from 1992 to 1997, will conduct a student forum on the business of composition in the Bridgewater Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center beginning at noon on Feb. 26. The Extentions concert will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Musical Arts Center.
  • The Men of Color Leadership Conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Sessions will be designed to promote academic success, personal empowerment and leadership development. Juan Andrade Jr., president of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, will be the keynote speaker. A news release with all of the details is available online at
  • A discussion focusing on poet Eusebia Cosme (1910-1973) will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 at La Casa/Latino Cultural Center, 715 E. Seventh St. Using Cosme's poetry, the program will look at the role of performance in translating and shaping the black diasporic identity in the Caribbean.
  • Community, Corruption and Continuance: Examples of Leadership in the Midst of Devastated New Orleans and Tourist Redevelopment at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Dogwood Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. In the midst of the devastated areas of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans lies the story of an elderly African American man rebuilding his home, room by room, with his bare hands, alone. As the tourism industry rebounds in post-Katrina New Orleans, many residential areas remain untouched and unsupported.
  • The Black Identity Lecture & Creative Activity Series Town Hall Meeting on Katrina on Feb. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. The program aims to bring students, faculty, staff and members of the community together to discuss the current state of affairs in New Orleans and how to help in its rebuilding.
  • The Black Knowledge Bowl, from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the Grand Hall of the Black Culture Center. Student teams compete for prizes. Question asked cover topics such as science, education, history, business, philosophy, politics, sports, music and much more. Those who want to put together a team should contact Ketwana Wilson-McCormick at or 812-855 -9271.
  • The Second Annual Black History Month gala, Bloomington Style!, on Feb. 24 at the Bloomington Country Club, 3000 S. Rogers St. The black-tie gala is sponsored by the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Black Business and Professionals Association, and several IU offices and organizations. Tickets, which are $35, include dinner and dancing to music by the Front Page Band. There also will be a charity auction with proceeds going to fund the city's historical markers fund and scholarships for students attending IU and Ivy Tech State College. Tickets may be purchased at city offices at 401 N. Morton St.; the Bloomington Visitor's Center at 2855 N. Walnut St.; Hoosier Barber Shop at 2534 E. 10th St.; and Angela's Ebony Designs at 1328 N. Woodburn Ave.
  • The Fifth Annual Africana Festival, celebrating the cultural heritage of people of African descent in Bloomington and Southern Indiana, is scheduled for Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. The festival will include a drumming workshop, arts and crafts, a student panel discussion and an address by a visiting speaker. The event will feature a soul food dinner and musical show. For more information, call 812-855-9271.
  • A Tribute to Our Past, the month's closing reception, will feature the Libada Dance Company -- a children's dance company that combines dance with indigenous African culture and tradition. Libada has built a reputation for its distinctly spiritual stage performances since being formed in Indianapolis in 1990. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Grand Hall of the Black Culture Center.